National Half Marathon

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This morning, I decided that being injured and dropping out of a race isn’t really that bad… especially if you make the effort to enjoy being a spectator. 


We were up at 5 AM to take Megan, Nicole, and Emily’s husband Casey to the race.  Emily and I had an awesome time watching our friends, meeting other bloggers and readers, and cheering on complete strangers.


SO many people recognized our signs!   All of the sudden, someone would shout out, “HEALTHY TIPPING POINT!!!” and run over to say hi and introduce themselves.  Honestly… supporting the runners was better than running the race myself.  I really mean that!

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Our morning started super early – we were up at 5AM.  It’s funny how I find it SO easy to wake up for a race, even when I’m not running it, but I struggle to wake up for training runs.  I guess it’s just that race day excitement!  I ate a PB and jelly sandwich in the car as we made our way to the Armory.


After dropping off our runners, Emily and I went to the Metro to get a lift to Mile 3.  I felt so bad for the late runners – the Metro crowds were horrific, and I’m sure tons of runners were late to the start.  It’s a terrible feeling to be late to a race!


We set up camp and watched as the crowds rolled by…


We hung out next to this awesome woman who was handing out tissues to the runners!  It was cold and everyone’s nose was dripping… Best idea ever!


We moved to Mile 10.5 and met up with Brittany and her friend, who brought Swedish Fish to hand out to runners.  Swedish Fish was also a HUGE hit with runners.  My voice is hoarse from yelling, “Swedish Fish! Swedish Fish!  Get your candy here!”


When Casey ran by at Mile 10.5, he informed us that he was dropping down from the full marathon to the half, so we hopped in a cab and headed to the finish line, where we also met up with Nicole and Megan.  No new PRs, but everyone  did great, especially considering the hills and cold.


Came home, changed, and went out to brunch.


Emily took us to this cute little French bakery in Old Town.  We started off with an amazing bread basket.


Which came with an assortment of spreads and nut butters.  As Megan said, “I ran through hell to get to heaven.”


I had a couple of slices:



I got the vegan 7-vegetable ‘quiche,’ which was delicious.  It was light and savory.


Despite not running, I am EXHAUSTED from being a spectator!  It’s hard work. 🙂 Hitting the hay for a bit.


If you were running a race, what would you want a spectator to hand you?  Swedish Fish?  Orange slices?  Shoes with wings?  🙂



  • Steph March 26, 2011, 1:37 pm


  • Katie @ Nourishing Flourishing March 26, 2011, 1:38 pm

    This is so awesome! I love your positivity, and how you took a seemingly disappointing situation (not being able to run) and turned it into something better than the original plan! Tissue Lady, Swedish Fish Ladies, and Sign Holding Bloggers — I salute you 🙂 You guys rock. <3

  • Victoria (District Chocoholic) March 26, 2011, 1:39 pm

    Since I often have visions of Swedish Fish when I get 80 minutes into a swim workout, I’d have to go with those.

  • Chase March 26, 2011, 1:39 pm

    I’m so sorry I missed you guys! I kept looking for the pink sign!! Thanks for being there for us! I love spectators who blast some awesome tunes. That’s the best!

    • Caitlin March 26, 2011, 4:12 pm

      I hope you had fun! 😉

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing March 26, 2011, 1:40 pm

    Woohoo go Megan! And I think the tissues are an AMAZING idea!!! A runny nose is the worst..ugh.

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey March 26, 2011, 1:41 pm

    Congrats to all the runners! The Husband always tells me how hard it is to be a spectator – I believe him now. Although he’s the jerk on the sidelines talking really loudly about how tired he is just to get a rise out of the runners. haha!

    • Caitlin March 26, 2011, 3:44 pm

      hahaha LOL love your husband.

  • Ashley @ Feeding Ashley March 26, 2011, 1:42 pm

    Shoes with wings would be pretty great. Orange slices are too, just no bananas. I love your signs, they’re really cute, and it looks like a lot of fun just to cheer people on!

  • Alison March 26, 2011, 1:42 pm

    I’m glad you had fun being a spectator. I tweeted you earlier saying that I saw you and Emily around mile 10.5 but I was too shy to shout anything out to you. I saw you though.

    I also saw tons of gummy bears all over the road. I guess a bag exploded? Swedish fish are tasty, but I have a hard time eating all that sugar during the race. After too much GU or shot blox, all I want are pretzels. During the Disney marathon I would have sold my only child for some french fries at mile 23. Orange slices sound appealing though.

    I have a huge sweet tooth, so I always find that odd.

    Enjoy the rest of your time in DC!

    • Caitlin March 26, 2011, 3:45 pm

      Yay job! What year did you do Disney?

      • Alison March 26, 2011, 4:05 pm

        I did Disney this year. It was so much more fun than I ever expected. My husband and I are planning to do the Goofy Challenge in 2013 after he returns from his deployment. I think we’re going to do a run/walk program, though. There’s no need to get stupid! 😉

        • Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday March 26, 2011, 9:43 pm

          I’m thinking of doing the full Disney marathon in 2012. It looks SO much fun! Did you love it?

        • Alison March 27, 2011, 8:13 am

          Samantha, I actually did love it. As much as you can love running a marathon, anyway. I totally recommend it. Running through the parks is a great experience. Also, if you complete the full marathon, you get a free ticket to one of the parks the next day (Marathon Monday). You should do it!

  • Anna @ Doing Good & Living Well March 26, 2011, 1:42 pm

    It was so much fun cheering with you this morning! I think you should come back and run a race in DC so we can cheer for you and bring YOU swedish fish!

  • Angela @ MyPinkyToes March 26, 2011, 1:42 pm

    It looks like so much fun! I wish I was there! I wish I could have you as a spectator/motivator at all my races coming up!

  • Melissa March 26, 2011, 1:44 pm

    Awesome job cheering!!!! It was great to see you at mile 3!!! Thanks for taking a picture, any chance you could email it to me? (bib 13577)

    Hope to see you running by in NYC next weekend!

    • Caitlin March 26, 2011, 3:48 pm

      I emailed it to you 🙂 Good job! So nice to see you!

  • Colleen March 26, 2011, 1:46 pm

    I saw the tissue lady at mile 3 AND i saw your sign at mile 10! Thanks for coming out to support the runners (if I knew you had sweedish fish I would have gladly taken some–my favorite is when people hand out gummy bears)!

    • Caitlin March 26, 2011, 3:49 pm

      Thank you so much!!! 🙂 You rock for running the race.

  • Kara March 26, 2011, 1:46 pm

    It was a great morning for a race! I did 17 miles this morning to tribute the runners 🙂

    I’d want orange slices, that would be perfect! Or a piggy back ride. That would be good too.

  • Beth March 26, 2011, 1:47 pm

    I saw you cheering in the first mile or so. Thanks for the support!!

  • Janene @ One Run at a Time March 26, 2011, 1:47 pm

    I’m gonna be spectating the Athens (OH) Marathon in a couple weeks, so I’m taking notes! Depending on the weather, I may have to steal the Kleenex idea… genius!

  • Freya March 26, 2011, 1:49 pm

    Wow you did a great job! LOVE those signs!!
    Orange slices sounded repulsive to me in my marathon, but I LOVED mini tiny dry sated pretzels, so I’d hand them out 😀

  • Julie @ Shining From Within March 26, 2011, 1:52 pm

    I love those peach-os! Yummy yum yums.

  • jen @ taste life March 26, 2011, 1:53 pm

    Definitely shoes with wings! Although the orange slices sound really good, too.

  • Jess@atasteofconfidence March 26, 2011, 1:53 pm

    Good job cheering- awesome of you!

  • Kay March 26, 2011, 1:55 pm

    Hey, Caitlin, I was just over at Nicole’s blog, and this picture had me scratching my head:

    I can’t tell for sure, but it looks like you’re in a moving vehicle without a seatbelt. As a role model and healthy living blogger, what is your stance on seat belts? Do you typically wear yours?

    Thanks! 🙂

    • Caitlin March 26, 2011, 3:50 pm

      I’m in an empty parking lot. I always wear a seatbelt. 🙂

      • Kay March 26, 2011, 5:42 pm

        That’s a relief! Thanks for replying! 🙂

        • D March 26, 2011, 7:00 pm

          The other day I was giving my friend a ride and I turned to look at her and realized she wasn’t wearing a seatbelt. I was like “dude, really? people don’t wear seatbelts?” I find that SO WEIRD!

  • LindzGreerIndy March 26, 2011, 1:58 pm

    Normally I would say Swedish Fish, but I have had a ridiculous craving for oranges lately…as in like 3-4 a day!! So I guess today, I’d be hoping for some orange slices 🙂 Love your recap from a spectator POV! My cousin is running the Indy Mini this May, and I hope to get good ideas of being a good spectator b/n all the bloggers who have both ran and spectated (is that a word??) half/whole marathons!

  • Jordan (Ciao Cow) March 26, 2011, 1:58 pm

    I’ve had that exact vegetable quiche in Old Town! Now, I’m living in Seattle, but it looks like you had a great time cheering on all the runners.

  • Lisa March 26, 2011, 1:59 pm

    I ran a half marathon today, too! (But in Pittsburgh!) Caitlin, I love your awesome signs and your overwhelming positivity! 🙂 Thee was no one handing out kleenex at my race, so let’s just say I blew lots of snot rockets. Haha, sorry, that’s gross! Basically as long as there are enough people handing out water and GU, I’m good…or free taxi rides. 😉

    • Caitlin March 26, 2011, 4:05 pm

      Yay Pittsburgh 🙂 Congrats on your half.

  • Carrie (Moves 'N Munchies) March 26, 2011, 2:00 pm

    ahhh looks like fun!!! hmm i would want them to hand me fairy dust to keep my feet going!

  • Natalie Rae March 26, 2011, 2:00 pm

    I ran by you all and didn’t even realize it! I was leg 3 of the relay, and I remember swedish fish! LOVE swedish fish, but didn’t want to slow down. I guess I was a little focused? I was the girl with white aviators, blue mini backpack, and pastel pink lips- thanks for being a shouting fan!

    • Caitlin March 26, 2011, 4:04 pm

      Oh I saw you!!! I admired your avaitors 🙂

      • Natalie Rae March 26, 2011, 4:09 pm

        My Husband saw you at 3- “there were some girls with a bloggers sign” haha

  • Megan (Running Foodie) March 26, 2011, 2:07 pm

    Is that Le Pain Quotidien?? That’s my FAVORITE brunch spot! Their hazelnut spread seriously IS heaven.

    • Caitlin March 26, 2011, 4:04 pm


  • Jennifer March 26, 2011, 2:13 pm

    During the Chilly 1/2 I ran a couple of weeks ago, we ran past a church and the pastor and his congregation were handing out orange slices and peeled bananas. He was dressed up in his full Sunday best and they had put up a sign on their lawn that read “We are praying for you runners!”. I was so nice to see everyone coming out to support the runners and walkers.

  • Laura March 26, 2011, 2:14 pm

    Oh my gosh I saw that sign but didn’t know it was you! I live in DC but read your blog, so happy you had fun at the half and thanks for coming out to cheer us on! What was the restaurant in Old Town? Looks so good…

    • Caitlin March 26, 2011, 4:03 pm

      Le Pain Quotidien! it was so good 🙂

      good job on the race!

  • Courtney March 26, 2011, 2:18 pm

    a bed!!
    i did my first half last weekend and the whole time i couldnt stop thinking about how awesome sleep was gonna feel.

  • Phrassie Mama March 26, 2011, 2:21 pm

    Oh! That sounds like so much fun!!!

    At mile 11 of a rural and almost totally unassisted half, a couple of people in a car pulled up to me and handed me an ice cold Gatorade. It was about 80 degrees outside and I was exhausted. They were heaven sent! They told me they had done the half the previous year and decided to make this a tradition. They loaded up a cooler with Gatorades and ice and drove along the race route handing them out. It was amazing of them!

  • delia March 26, 2011, 2:30 pm

    I ran a half marathon once where there were people handing out pint bottles of water around mile 1. Granted, it was a “couch to marathon” sponsored race, and it was in June, but carrying a bottle in my hand for the whole race was much for me.

    I like when people hand out packaged candy that I can put in my pocket to eat after the race. I also like random stuff like Mardi Gras beads. Tissues are also helpful in the cold although usually I make do with my sleeve!

  • monicanelsonfitness March 26, 2011, 2:30 pm

    this is just awesome! way to have such a great attitude. 🙂

  • Gaby March 26, 2011, 2:30 pm

    Le Pain Quotidien is perhaps one of my favorite places to grab brunch/lunch. That specific quiche is one of my favs too! Gluten free!

  • Lana March 26, 2011, 2:32 pm

    Aww, I ran by you (I remember that sign and it made me smile when I saw it), but I didn’t know it was you!!! BOOO, I would have loved to have said hello. I think I waved in appreciation, though. Thanks for supporting everyone this morning!!! Especially since it was quite cold! (hugs from DC)

    • Caitlin March 26, 2011, 3:52 pm

      Hugs!!! Good job on the race.

  • Gabriela @ Fro-Yo Lover March 26, 2011, 2:34 pm

    I bet helping all those runners was a lot of fun, Caitlin! Sometimes being there for them is as awesome as running yourself. YAY for races 🙂

  • Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope March 26, 2011, 2:35 pm

    Wow, it’s packed!!! Sounds like such a fun event, especially for the spectators! 🙂

    I’d definitely say #1 water and #2 tissues. I can always use water, and the tissue idea is genius on a cold day!

  • Christy March 26, 2011, 2:36 pm

    I’ve been reading your blog for months now, but I finally got one myself so now I can comment!
    Anyway, looks like the race was a lot of fun even though you couldn’t run it.
    If I was running a race, I would want peanut butter on a stick or something like that. Recently at a race people were handing out cinnamon rolls and brownies.

    • Caitlin March 26, 2011, 3:51 pm

      Yay 🙂 Welcome to the blogworld.

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) March 26, 2011, 2:44 pm

    You have such a great attitude! I’m glad you are enjoying your time with your friends!

  • Beth @ 990 Square March 26, 2011, 3:00 pm

    I saw your sign–I should have yelled out! Glad you had a great time.

    I just love people cheering for me. I wore a shirt today with my name on it, and the personal attention was just fantastic!

  • Katie @ Healthy Heddleston March 26, 2011, 3:09 pm

    Great signs and what fun with some many friends! I can’t wait to be a spectator and cheer for my friend in May — a week after I run a race myself! I think it’ll be so fun!

  • Ellie@fitforthesoul March 26, 2011, 3:11 pm

    yummy looking food! ANd that’s awesome that you supported everyone! It’s so cute seeing how everyone brightened up seeing you girls. 🙂 and what a funny poster!!! ahahaha very clever

  • Little Bookworm March 26, 2011, 3:19 pm

    The signs look great! Love the sound of that ‘quiche’ as well. 🙂

  • Krissy @ Make It Naked March 26, 2011, 3:20 pm

    Yeah! Love that you got me waving in the air! I was super excited to see you guys. Sorry I didn’t stop to introduce myself – I totally should have!

    • Caitlin March 26, 2011, 3:51 pm

      You were great!!!

  • Laura @FoodSnobSTL March 26, 2011, 3:27 pm

    Props to you for turning a negative into a positive!! I would love swedish fish or jellybeans in the middle of a long run. Instant sugar rush 🙂

  • Shawna March 26, 2011, 3:35 pm

    I love going to DC…we only live about 40 minutes away. 😀

  • Kristen March 26, 2011, 3:41 pm

    When it is warm out- I’d love a popsicle or a freezie…something cold and sweet. But that lady with the tissues was brilliant 🙂

    Spectating really is a lot of fun- and exhausting to boot. After cheering on my sister at a half marathon, I had to go home and do a long training run and it was not a good run…

  • Clare @ Fitting It All In March 26, 2011, 3:41 pm

    How awesome that you made the best of it. I think the tissue idea is THE BEST! That and chapstick to use.

  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie March 26, 2011, 3:42 pm

    I should be a spectator sometimes. I never have been but it seems like fun!

  • Kate (What Kate is Cooking) March 26, 2011, 3:48 pm

    Someone handed me a doughnut hole at mile 9 of a marathon- it may have been the best thing I’ve ever eaten.

  • Lauren March 26, 2011, 4:04 pm

    Glad you had a blast watching! I think swedish fish would be awesome to get during a race, or jellybeans.

  • Courtney March 26, 2011, 4:10 pm

    I love the sign! I always try to look at the signs during races but I tend to stay in my own head and never really see them. And how cool is that woman giving out tissues?!?! That’s such a great idea for a cold race!

    P.S. I saw some PINK brand Victoria’s Secret underwear today that said, “I get around” on them. Not very operation beautiful. What’s up with women’s brands giving in to the “every woman should look and act like a porn star” trend? Not cool! They’re posted on my blog along with some very blunt opinions from me.

    • Caitlin March 26, 2011, 4:11 pm

      UGH! Horrible. I hate the sexualizaton of stuff in america.

      I DON’T get around, Victoria’s. Thanks.

  • Mary @ Bites and Bliss March 26, 2011, 4:21 pm

    I knew tons of people would recognize your signs!! How awesome you were there to support them! :D:D

  • Kelly March 26, 2011, 4:29 pm

    I just love spectators…they make the races so much more enjoyable and they really can help it easier when you hit the wall!

  • Holly @ The Runny Egg March 26, 2011, 4:50 pm

    Spectators can make a race really fun or really lame! I love when people are out cheering!

    Tissues are an awesome idea — I know my nose runs whenever I run, whether it is warm or cold out.

    The best sign I have ever seen is “Toenails are overrated” — that cracked me up!

  • Ida March 26, 2011, 4:50 pm

    Le Pain is the best! Also I love the posters, clever ones are always so fun to read during a race.

  • Baking 'n' Books March 26, 2011, 4:54 pm

    It would depend on the mood I was in and how I felt. Sometimes spectators used to annoy me when I was literally ‘giving’ her…but that was the past.

    I’d take Swedish Fish race or no name. Congrats to all the racers!

  • Carly March 26, 2011, 5:26 pm

    Looks like you had fun! Way to have a positive attitude. You are a great role-model.

  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife March 26, 2011, 5:38 pm

    skittles, jelly beans, or sweedish fish 🙂 That does look like fun to be a spectator- I should try it sometime!! Love the bread basket idea!!

  • Kristy@RunTheLongRoad March 26, 2011, 5:50 pm

    Swedish fish!!!! They taste just like my Shot Bloks anyway! I love watching races too (just as much as I like running them). I’m sure everyone appreciated you cheering them on!

  • Deanna March 26, 2011, 5:54 pm

    This post makes me want to WATCH a race! Too bad you couldn’t run but hope you are in tip top shape for next week!

  • March 26, 2011, 6:09 pm

    Wow! I wish someone would hand me sweedish fish during my half marathon next month! They are the BEST! Those nut butters look amazing too! Kudos to you for being an awesome spectator – you’ll be kicking butt with your feet again too before you know it!

  • Natalia - a side of simple March 26, 2011, 6:10 pm

    The energy from this post made me feel like I was there! What a great time 🙂

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin March 26, 2011, 6:18 pm

    Swedish fish = best idea ever. I once ate 1 lb of them in a sitting. Somehow I still like them after that! 😛

    Congrats to Megan, Nicole and Casey!

  • Angela March 26, 2011, 6:36 pm

    Your sign is really cute!

  • Emma (Namaste Everyday) March 26, 2011, 6:37 pm

    That sounds like so much fun! As a runner, it’s such a great motivation to have support on the sidelines!

  • Julie @ Lettuce Choose Healthy March 26, 2011, 6:47 pm

    congrats to everyone who finished the race :-)!!

    Love the signs!

  • MorgzSyd March 26, 2011, 6:48 pm

    i would want them to give me sushi! i could pop it as i run, also sour patch watermelons and dark chocolate! sounds like a fun weekend with some heavenly bread!

    visit my blog

  • Paige @Running Around Normal March 26, 2011, 7:31 pm

    You are an awesome spectator!! Love the signs 🙂 And how cool with the Swedish fish. I’m a HUGE fan of that candy, so I’d love that!

  • Susan March 26, 2011, 7:32 pm

    Aw – missed you by a week! I’m going to DC next Sunday, for the Cherry Blossom 10 miler! I hope the signs inspire me as much as yours does!

    As for what I would want – hmm. I like swedish fish, but like red Twizzlers even more! Twizzlers – not Red Vine!

    • Caitlin March 27, 2011, 6:15 pm

      Good luck next weekend!!!

  • Little Miss Runshine March 26, 2011, 7:32 pm

    What a great weekend!! Sorry you are injured, but definitely a smart idea to spectate! Hope you heal well! You were an awesome spectator!! I think spectating can be tougher than racing sometimes!

    I would love shoes with wings! BUT how about sweedish fish AND oranges slices! would be AMAZING! 🙂

  • ashley @ ashley's adventures in alaska March 26, 2011, 7:32 pm

    You’re an awesome spectator and friend! I’ve only done a few 5ks, which have had very few spectators, so I think it would be super fabulous to run a race with so many people cheering you on. I’m doing my first ever 1/2 marathon this summer, and I could totally use the shoes with wings. 🙂

  • Rae March 26, 2011, 9:20 pm

    Thanks for the awesome support today and it was great to meet you at the blogger meet up!! (I was the blurry one…I think I was still in my sweatshirt…pre revealing my GOTR shirt :-P) I hope your knee gets better for your big race next weekend-you rock!!

    • Caitlin March 27, 2011, 6:14 pm

      Yay GOTR 🙂 Thank you so much for being awesome.

  • Evan Thomas March 26, 2011, 10:30 pm

    THANK YOU for being a cheerer today. Seeing a familiar face in the crowd made all the difference for keeping me going.

    As far as food goes, I had always heard GU was nasty but I had my very first one today during mile 18 and I have to say that was GOOD. I’m hoarding the other 2 I grabbed to eat as dessert one night. I have no shame.

  • BroccoliHut March 26, 2011, 10:52 pm

    I think a handful of peach rings would be a welcome sight if I were running the race:)

  • Jodi March 26, 2011, 11:10 pm

    Caitlin, this is so awesome! I love that you took a potentially disappointing situation and turned it into something really postive – and inspired others at the same time. Besides, it’s always fun seeing two of my favorite bloggers in one place. Congrats on the race everyone!!

  • Khushboo March 27, 2011, 1:32 am

    Can you be my best friend- u are the most positive person I’ve ever come across. You send out such great energy & vibes

    • Caitlin March 27, 2011, 6:12 pm

      YES! I’d love to be your BFF!

  • Marta March 27, 2011, 11:13 am

    ahahaha “Your feet hurt because you’re kickin’ butt” Best sign ever!

  • Amber K March 27, 2011, 11:14 am

    Do I see Stepfanie from SparkPeople up there? Whoever it is looks just like her!

    • Caitlin March 27, 2011, 6:11 pm

      Yes and we talked about how awesome you are 🙂

  • Rosi March 27, 2011, 5:15 pm

    Love the signs! I would be down with some swedish fish. Favorites! 😀
    Glad you were able to take a downer situation and make something awesome of it.

  • betty@runbetty March 27, 2011, 7:54 pm

    Ooh was that Le Pain Quotidien you guys went to for lunch? Looks like their trademark communal dining table and deeelicious hazelnut butter spread 🙂

    Can you tell I love that place?!?

    • Caitlin March 27, 2011, 9:31 pm


  • Kristen March 27, 2011, 8:47 pm

    swedish fish is an awesome idea!

  • Emily March 28, 2011, 2:02 pm

    you got a picture of me without even realizing it! LOVE it! I hope you don’t mind if I steal it.

    SO great to meet you on Saturday night! I love that you still came up and were a rock star cheerleader when you couldn’t run.

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