Don’t get me wrong – I love the run with buddies.  Running friends make the mileage more bearable and entertaining.  But sometimes running with a group = pressure.  Pressure to keep running, pressure not to walk, pressure to go faster than I want to go.


So I joined the walking group this morning.  :)  And it felt good to sloooow down.


Megan and I rolled out of bed at approximately 7:45 and left the hotel 8:10.  We were a bit late and strolled by ourselves for a while.  Chicago has the GREAT jogging path and it was absolutely bumping with people.  The path extends for over 18.0 miles!  However, we only got to see about a mile of it (so 2.0 miles in total).


Or go slow.  :)  IMG_0398

Or pretend to be ninjas.  Whatever floats your boat.


I munched on half an AllieBar while we walked.  Loved the flavor!


‘Twas an excellent workout.  I might go running later, but truthfully – I feel the need to SLOW DOWN in general today.  Too much action going on in the last few weeks, and pausing to BREATHE feels so good.  Taking the pressure off my workouts is a great gift to myself today.  Marathon training is not made or broken in a day.


Post-walk, we attended the Thomas Bagel Thins Bon Voyage Breakfast.


Build your own cream cheese = epic.  You could go sweet (honey, cinnamon, almonds, strawberries, blueberries) or savory (sundried tomatoes, nuts, spices, veggies, capers, salmon).


My mix included regular cream cheese, capers, onions, tomatoes, and salt.  I really liked the Bagel Thin as well – the bagel taste was definitely spot on!


Plus fruit and egg:



After breakfast, I said goodbye to some of the attendees and took a much-needed shower.


A little while later, I hopped into a cab for a VERY SPECIAL LUNCH!


My literary agent actually lives in Chicago, and although I’ve been working with her since June 2009, we’ve never actually met in person.  I was so thrilled when I realized we’d be able to get together on this trip.  I really feel like she changed my entire life when she picked up the New York Daily News, read an article about Operation Beautiful, and thought, “Hey, maybe that would make a good book.”  She took a chance on me, and I will never forget it!


She took me to Karyn’s on Green, a vegan restaurant that (ironically!) a bunch of other HLS bloggers went to last night.  I was really excited to try the food after hearing such amazing reviews from my friends.


I started off with a mocktail that contained coconut water, lime juice, almond syrup, and orange.  It was SO delicious.  Exactly what my body and soul was craving.


I ordered the tofu scramble, which contained tofu, potatoes, roasted peppers, and other flavors.  It came with warm corn tortillas that smelled absolutely delicious.



And I snagged one of my agent’s biscuits and ‘gravy.’ Also amazing.


And now, my friends, I am off on an architectural cruise of Chicago.  As a former urban planner, I really love interesting architecture and can’t wait to see the city by boat.  I’m glad I decided to stay an extra day so I can see the sights.


I hope you’re having a great Sunday, too!



  • Tina August 15, 2010, 4:38 pm

    How fabulous to get the chance to meet your agent in person. I’m sure you’ve had your fair share of communications and work related talk, so dining in relaxation likely felt amazing. 🙂

    And I think opting to take it easy today was a smart move. Your body (and mind) have been go, go, go recently!

  • Erin August 15, 2010, 4:42 pm

    Great lesson in self-care. I think slowing down is way under-rated, but an important part of training. Have fun seeing Chicago!

  • Shari August 15, 2010, 4:45 pm

    It sounds like you’re continuing to have an absolutely amazing time! Chicago looks like such an interesting city with so many things to experience.

    Finally meeting your agent must have been so special. I’m a writer, too (querying agents now!), and I can only imagine how gratifying it has to be to meet the person who changed your life and made your dream come true. So happy for you!

    • caitlin August 15, 2010, 10:13 pm

      Good luck with your query!

  • Lindsay August 15, 2010, 4:45 pm

    So great you finally got to meet her 😀

    PS That outfit is so cute! And you said you didn’t have style!?

    • Caitlin August 15, 2010, 4:51 pm

      Hahah that is definitely an outfit designed by
      a saleswoman at Banana Republic. Can’t take
      credit for it but thanks!

  • Sarah @ Sarah's Shaping Up August 15, 2010, 4:47 pm

    I’ve absolutely loved hearing about HLS! Looks like it was a lot of fun! 🙂

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) August 15, 2010, 4:47 pm

    Sounds like a great end to a great weekend! Enjoy the tour and some much needed rest!

  • Brianne August 15, 2010, 4:59 pm

    Yum! Your cream cheese creation is definitely one I would buy if I saw it at the store. I agree with the comment above too, that outfit is adorable!

  • Heather August 15, 2010, 5:02 pm

    i agree, sometimes it’s just good to walk and slow down! good job

  • Julia @ August 15, 2010, 5:09 pm

    You and Megan are so cute! Obviously such good friends. Sometimes you have to give yourself time to smell the roses in a new place – so the walking tour sounds good to me!


  • Whitney August 15, 2010, 5:09 pm

    It’s good that you’re slowing down, the last few weeks have been crazy busy for you! That restaurant looks so yummy!

  • Nancy @ The Wife of a Dairyman August 15, 2010, 5:22 pm

    What a great lunch date to have! Must have been fun meeting your agent in person. I’m sure you had a lot to talk about and catch up on 🙂

  • Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter August 15, 2010, 5:33 pm

    That is really great that you got to meet her!

    And I would go crazy for the architectural cruise of Chicago. I’ve studied Chicago a bit in my architectural history classes. It’s very cool!

  • Heather (Heather's Dish) August 15, 2010, 5:37 pm

    that’s so awesome that you got to meet your agent! i can’t imagine how amazing it’s been to have your life completely change because of her faith in your story 🙂

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) August 15, 2010, 5:37 pm

    Wow – I just read all the HLS recaps and boy – what fun!!!!!

  • christina cadden August 15, 2010, 5:45 pm

    Looks like so much fun!

  • LindsayK August 15, 2010, 5:47 pm

    ahh you are so great! hey where are those nude peep toes from? adorable!

    • caitlin August 15, 2010, 10:16 pm

      Banana Republic and very comfortable!

  • Ellen@FirednFabulous August 15, 2010, 6:01 pm

    Wow that’s so cool that she saw the article and then wanted to take a chance on you. What an amaaazing feeling!

    And holy cow, build your own cream cheese? HEAVEN!

  • Courtney @ Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life August 15, 2010, 6:04 pm

    I loved that jogging path! I wish I had one near me.

  • Laurie August 15, 2010, 6:17 pm

    Thanks for keeping us current (this is 1 comment for the past 2 posts, look I’m saving you time!). So good to hear you walked to take care of yourself.
    I may have asked you this, or one of your peeps, seriously, was there anyone there over 30-35? All your pics have beautiful young women in them, I am wondering if this 45 year old could keep up with you young thangs?

    • Caitlin August 15, 2010, 6:37 pm

      Sure! There were several 40 – 50ers! 🙂

      • Laurie August 15, 2010, 7:02 pm

        you telling me that you didn’t take pictures of them or they just couldn’t run with you guys? just kidding…

  • Jill@MySoCalledHealthLife August 15, 2010, 6:20 pm

    How AMAZING to finally get to meet your agent. You are a blessed girl in so many ways. It’s fun to read your blog because you know it, and APPRECIATE it 🙂

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) August 15, 2010, 6:21 pm

    That is amazing that you got to meet her finally after all that has happened. She has truly changed your life and you look so happy!

  • Camille August 15, 2010, 6:38 pm

    What a wonderful close to HLS!
    Have a great last day!

  • Chelsea (Chelsea's Chew and Run Fun) August 15, 2010, 7:00 pm

    I think meeting your agent after all that’s happened in the past couple of weeks was the perfect conclusion to such an overwhelming amount of stuff going on (book release, TODAY show, HLS, etc.)

    Your lunch looks amazing!

  • Molly August 15, 2010, 7:03 pm

    This post kind of made me tear up a little. First of all, I am bad at saying goodbyes, lets make that clear. And this weekend was no exception. Meeting you and all the other bloggers was life changing for ME, I feel like I have been a part of everyones lives for so long, that finally getting to meet you all was incredible. So its probably not on the same scale of your literary agent but close 😉 (congrats again on your book, Im giving mass amount of copies to every girl I know. It alone has changed me!)

    Thanks again for an amazing weekend! I feel honored to know you!


    • caitlin August 15, 2010, 10:41 pm

      It was so nice to meet you too Molly!!! I hope we can meet again very soon!!!!

  • Wei-Wei August 15, 2010, 7:47 pm

    So cool that you met your agent! The lady who changed your life indeed!! What a great ending. I hope you had fun over the Summit! Oh yeah, and how long are you staying in Chi-town now? Be sure to tell us about the architectural tour! I went to an architecture camp over the summer and I think it’s awesome. 😀


    • caitlin August 15, 2010, 10:41 pm

      leaving tomorrow!

  • Jasmine @ Eat Move Write August 15, 2010, 8:25 pm

    That’s cool you got to meet your agent! I’ve only met mine twice, which is so funny to me. When I was young and imaging my writing career, I’d always imagined this lit agent that I would see all the time, on and on. Funny how it works.

    Glad you had a good time. Chi-town is great for architecture, is it not?!

  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie August 15, 2010, 8:58 pm

    I love taking a break and relaxing for a day or two. There’s nothing like letting yourself calm down.

    Looks like you’re having an amazing time. I hope next year I can make it!

  • Chelsey August 15, 2010, 9:12 pm

    I’m glad you wrote it’s great to slow down a day or two and just listen to your body. Wonderful advice!

    I love chicago’s path along the lake. That’s where I did my half!

  • Renee August 15, 2010, 9:14 pm

    Sounds amazing! I am going to have to attend the conference next year – I had no idea when I met you at the Today Show that you were organizing this conference! Today marks 50 pounds down for me and when I return to Chicago I am going to stop at Karyn’s!

    • caitlin August 15, 2010, 10:42 pm

      Congrats on your healthy weight loss!

  • Kristy @ August 15, 2010, 9:53 pm

    I love the quote, “Marathon training is not made or broken in a day.” It’s like a load was just lifted off my shoulders. It can get stressful sticking to a rigid training plan, but everyone needs a break sometimes. 😉 And that’s ok. Thank you!

  • holly @ couchpotatoathlete August 15, 2010, 9:54 pm

    Karyn’s seems like a great place. If I am ever in Chicago I will have to try it out!

    I think it is great that you walked today — and I totally know what you mean about feeling pressure when running with a group. I like to go my own pace and not beat myself up if others are faster than me.

  • Stacey August 15, 2010, 9:55 pm

    I agree, it is so nice to slow it down sometimes. And what better way to really see the city?! Glad you finally got to meet your literary agent! That must’ve been exciting 😀

  • Tracey August 15, 2010, 10:41 pm

    I really enjoyed the architecture cruise. Lot of random info provided by the “captain” which I found fascinating!

    I’m going to have to check out Karyns. I’ve read so many great things about the place.

  • Candice August 15, 2010, 10:54 pm

    What a great weekend, right? Thanks for all you did to make it happen – and I loved getting to chat with you for a bit:)

    I’m sad I didn’t get to try Karyns…I heard so many people rave about it. And how exciting that you got to meet your agent!

    Hope you’re able to get all rested up!

  • Amber K August 16, 2010, 12:20 am

    That is so cool that you got to meet your literary agent! And that restaurant sounds so cool. I love vegan restaurants because I know I can actually eat the food and not worry about my stomach freaking out!

  • Julie @ Wearing Mascara August 16, 2010, 12:25 am

    I never thought to use coconut water in a mocktail! That sounds great 🙂 Glad you got to meet your agent! Have a good start of the week!

  • Allie (Live Laugh Eat) August 16, 2010, 12:39 am

    Glad to hear you enjoyed the AllieBar! I can’t believe you had never met your literary agent before today! I need to go to Katelyn’s on Green this week.

  • Mama Pea August 16, 2010, 2:42 am

    Aww…I can’t wait until the day I meet Lisa (also a Foundry agent) in person. I also feel overwhelming gratitude. Such a beautiful “come full circle” moment!

  • eatmovelove August 16, 2010, 7:26 am

    Caitlin – send you agent MY WAY!!! Seriously…pretty please? ;)…

    And Love the outfit! Savvy girl!

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin August 16, 2010, 8:46 am

    That’s awesome that you decided just to walk! Sometimes I put so much pressure on myself to run, when I really just want to slow things down.

  • Kelly August 16, 2010, 9:59 am

    So great you finally got to meet her in person!

  • Gena August 16, 2010, 10:07 am

    Aw, so nice that you met your agent in person! It’s not the same unless you do!

  • Amanda August 16, 2010, 10:28 am

    So…I saw the 1 page dedicated to Operation Beautiful in Womens Day…CONGRATULATIONS!!!
    Wish I could have made it to the HLS…maybe next year!

  • Kristy August 16, 2010, 12:58 pm

    Your creme cheese creation sounds delish! Biscuits and gravy??? What is better than that???

  • Callie @ Callieflower Kitchen August 17, 2010, 11:15 am

    I had the same mocktail from Karyn’s and it was awesome!! I think I took about a million pictures of it because it was so delicious lol.

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