Swim Progress

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If you recall, I’ve tried to do two triathlons (here and here) and had panic attacks in both of them.  Clearly, I need to do something different with my training!  Whatever I did before (I followed training plans that had successfully worked for friends) does not work for me!


And remember my realization that pools have walls, but lakes do not?  I think that I’m used to stopping and resting during training, so then I panic in the real situation.  Readers who were swimmers suggested I get comfortable with swimming the distance straight through, without hanging onto the walls.


I plan to tackle swimming 750 meters straight through just as I learned how to run without walking – set a distance goal, work towards that, take a break, and repeat.  Over time, I should gradually decrease the frequency and duration of my breaks.


My goal today was to swim 1,000 yards and take rest breaks every 300 yards – but NO HANGING OUT ON THE WALLS.  I promised myself that I would float on my back if I needed a break.  Because I cannot do a flip turn for the life of me (I nearly drown every time), I opted for the open turn, which Victoria recommended.  I tried not to push off too hard because it’s kind of ‘cheating’ myself in the end.


Guess what?!  Not only did I meet my goal, I totally exceeded it!  When I buckled down and told myself no hanging out on the walls, I found I didn’t need to do it as much as I thought!  It’s all mental.   I took two floating breaks during the 1,000 yards, which I’m pleased with.  Progress!


I also bought these new goggles today – I lost my main pair and had to use my back-up ones today, which I hate.  Hopefully these will be better!  I was attracted to them because they are a women’s fit and pink.  :)  I’ll let you know how they work out.


Three splashes for swimming!


Eats for the afternoon included blueberries, Greek yogurt, and raw oatmeal:


Dinner was a lovely cold beets (packaged from Trader Joe’s), almonds, goat cheese and spinach salad with a side of hummus toast.


IMG_3183  IMG_3181 

I ate early and will be back in the kitchen for more food before bed – perhaps some cereal?  Or PB toast?


Good night, friends!



  • Jasmine @ Eat Move Write April 25, 2011, 8:40 pm

    Do you dress your salads? What with? Just curious. I’m a veg that doesn’t love salad dressings, especially now that I’m trying to avoid overly processed foods or those with tons of chemicals and preservatives (like my beloved Ranch dressing).

    • Jasmine @ Eat Move Write April 25, 2011, 8:40 pm

      Woops. Mean to say “doesn’t love salads!”

      • CaitlinHTP April 25, 2011, 8:52 pm

        Oh yea, there’s balsamic on there. Have you tried the simply dressed brand? I’ve found salad dressings in the refrigerated aisle are loads healthier than the other ones.

  • Victoria (District Chocoholic) April 25, 2011, 8:45 pm

    So glad you were able to tackle the open turn – and that you beat your goal! Very, very cool. You must be pumped (and hungry).

    These are my favorite goggles:
    They come with three nosepieces to adjust to different facial structures. And they come in different colors. So my hot pink suit coordinates with my hot pink suit.

    Yes I’m 12 years old.

    • Alison April 26, 2011, 9:27 am

      Vanquishers are AWESOME. They’ve been my go-to goggles since I started swimming year round in middle school! And swim outlet is basically the place to go for all your swimming equipment needs.

  • Kelly April 25, 2011, 8:50 pm

    Awesome today on the swimming!! You rock!!

  • Jenny @ Fitness Health and Food April 25, 2011, 8:52 pm

    your swim goals are so great and congrats on going above and beyond!

    as swimming is really the achilles heel of so many amateur athletes you are setting a great example by tackling it! 🙂

  • Cait @ Beyond Bananas April 25, 2011, 9:07 pm

    Congrats on reaching your goal, Caitlin! YOu kind of rewarded yourself with some new goggs! 🙂

  • BeckyH April 25, 2011, 9:09 pm

    fav line = “Three splashes for swimming!” <– made me smile.

  • ashleigh April 25, 2011, 9:10 pm

    Congrats on you swimming progress!!
    Trader Joe’s beets are so good! One of the many things TJ makes that is delicious and makes my life so much easier!

  • Miranda @ Working Mom Works Out April 25, 2011, 9:12 pm

    Congrats on your goal! I think setting and committing to attempt the goals are the hardest part.

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) April 25, 2011, 9:12 pm

    Congrats on beating your goal! I think it’s great that you found a way to work on it. I never even thought about gradually adding on. I’m looking forward to swimming more this summer. I will definitely keep this in mind. Have a great night Caitlin!

  • Colleen April 25, 2011, 9:13 pm

    I disagree with anyone saying that flip turns and pushing off the wall are irrelevant and/or not useful for triathletes. In my personal experience, I’ve found that my friends who are excellent swimmers also happen to be some of the most hardcore triathletes… even if they are or were rubbish runners.* Truth is, you can certainly lose a triathlon in the swim. If you expend too much energy you’re basically screwed for the rest of the race. So learn to use the water to your best advantage. This means mastering the flip turn and learning how to move fluidly (oh so pun-ny) through the water when pushing off. The leg strength won’t hurt either.

    My triathlon philosophy: swim with swimmers, cycle with cyclists, and run with runners.

    *One of my closest friends and former teammate/training partner is a USAT Sprint National Champion (if she raises enough money for travel, she’s going to Beijing for Worlds this year). She comes from a very strong swimming background. It took a few years, but she’s built the speed and endurance to become a strong cyclist and runner.

    • CaitlinHTP April 25, 2011, 9:32 pm

      I appreciate your thoughts and think you have a point about building leg strength! Well stated.

      I guess the logic behind my no-push-off goals is that I’ve started-and-stopped during triathlon training twice behind and totally, epically failed the swim both times. Like, complete panic attack. So I think I have to try something different with my training to get more confident. Obviously, people successfully train with sprints and drills and stops all the time – but not me, two for two triathlons! LOL

      I’ll add this to the post.

      • Colleen April 25, 2011, 9:51 pm

        You could also give them a try to see if it helps build your confidence. To master the flip turn is no easy task!

  • Baking 'n' Books April 25, 2011, 9:15 pm

    Great job with the swimming! I don’t think I could go 5 feet!

    Just read your last post – is your HTP already accepted by the agent/publisher? Did you have a full proposal submitted for that as well? It seems like it’s going to be packed with stuff! And maybe a bit of a “biography”?

  • chelsea April 25, 2011, 9:16 pm

    With swimming it is for sure all mental! Great job with putting your mind to it. I also think you should leave flip turns to Michael Phelps…thats a sure way to get water up your nose. Lovely looking dinner!

  • Vanessa @ Swift as Shadows April 25, 2011, 9:21 pm

    I love that you swim — helps motivate me. I’m definitely one of those scaredy-cats who freaks if she can’t feel the bottom of the pool. I can swim, but only if I have to. Maybe this summer I’ll venture out of my comfort zone? =)

  • Holly @ The Runny Egg April 25, 2011, 9:27 pm

    I hate swimming but really want to start doing it more because I find it so challenging. I love reading about your progress!

  • Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope April 25, 2011, 9:33 pm

    Congrats on the swimming success! What a great feeling to make progress!

    Those blueberries look amazing… awesome snack!

  • Kath April 25, 2011, 9:34 pm

    That video is very helpful! I can do a flip turn, but I always get water in some part of me doing it. That one looks much easier!

  • Jessica @ Jessica Balances April 25, 2011, 9:35 pm

    Love reading about your swimming progress! You are incredible. 🙂

  • Britney April 25, 2011, 9:35 pm

    I bought those beets at TJ’s on Saturday! I was really sad to finish them off with my lunch today. Next time I’ll have to buy a few packs of them.

  • Taryn April 25, 2011, 9:37 pm

    I’ve always wondered – doesn’t the raw oatmeal get stuck in your teeth/have a super strange texture? I’ve always wanted to try the yogurt/pumpkin/oatmeal combo but raw oatmeal sounds like it’d taste so weird!

    • Jaime April 25, 2011, 9:46 pm

      I actually LOVE raw oats – it’s the only way I eat ’em. weird yes, but good 🙂

  • McKayla (green groats) April 25, 2011, 9:37 pm

    Good luck with your swimming goals!! Sounds like it’s going well. I’m kind of in the same boat (haha). Swimming is my weakest part of a tri, so I’ve been focusing on improving my speed this past month – doing lot’s of intervals (and it seems to be working)! Good luck with your training.

  • Katie @ Nourishing Flourishing April 25, 2011, 9:47 pm

    Can I just tell you that I think it’s amazing that you have kept such a positive and proactive attitude about having to adjust your exercise routine towards non-running sports for the moment? Seriously. Amazing way of dealing with a rough situation. Go you! 🙂

  • Caitlin @ TPL April 25, 2011, 9:54 pm

    Big congrats on your progress!!!

  • Kate (What Kate is Cooking) April 25, 2011, 9:58 pm

    That’s a great idea! Congrats on a great swim 🙂

  • Deva (Voracious Vorilee) April 25, 2011, 10:04 pm

    Congrats on such an awesome swim! I remember spending an entire afternoon in the pool one day when I was a tween practicing and practicing a flip turn! I figured that I could do a flip underwater – why not give it a try? It is hard to master, but oh-so-fun!

  • *Andrea* April 25, 2011, 10:15 pm

    congrats on the swim!

    so pumped that you’re writing a HTP cookbook!!!!! this is what i’ve been dreaming of lol. love your simple, delicious vegetarian recipes!! (i hate to cook but love to eat!)

  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife April 25, 2011, 10:36 pm

    Congrats on the swim–it is way easier to just flip on over to your back then to give up (I do this during training and the actual triathlon- and it helps SO much with breathing and resting–try doing backstroke if you ever get tired of swimming and breathing) 🙂

    love the dinner idea!

  • Ash @ Good Taste Healthy Me April 25, 2011, 11:04 pm

    Yay on swimming! I want to get myself in the water too. I think it would be a great workout!

  • Mo April 25, 2011, 11:04 pm

    I disagree with the above commenter that said you must master the flip turns. That is pointless for a lake swim, or even a good pool swim unless you are on swim team. What helped me build confidence in my length without a break was snorkeling in the carribean. I didn’t wear a life vest, just swam and when I returned home, it was amazing how much further I could go in the pool without a break. Maybe on your upcoming epic vacation? 😉

    • Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday April 25, 2011, 11:20 pm

      I agree. I think it makes more sense to practice in an environment that’s more like the one you will be swimming in. If the triathalon involves swimming in a pool then of course knowing a flip turn will shave lots of time off your speed but if the triathalon swim is in a lake then it’s probably most helpful to practice in a lake whenever the weather permits. You won’t have any walls to push off of in the middle of a lake.

  • Allison @ Happy Tales April 25, 2011, 11:28 pm

    I am super impressed with all of your swimming!!! You are going to rock the swim in Tri Latta!!!

  • Jen April 25, 2011, 11:31 pm

    I vote for PB toast…I lurrrve PB toast! Curious to know – are you & the hubby getting up to watch the royal wedding on Friday morning?

  • TheHungeredOne@MovingandMunching April 25, 2011, 11:39 pm

    You should totally try Speedo Vanquisher if you haven’t already. I’ve been using them for years and they seem to be the dominant choice in goggles for many female athletes.


    You can get them tinted or mirrored or even in a kids size (for the nose size difference).

  • Lu @ The Orange Spice Kitchen April 25, 2011, 11:43 pm

    Congratulations!! Swimming is difficult. You did a great job. I’d buy pink goggles, too. If I swam.

  • Ashley @ Feeding Ashley April 26, 2011, 12:03 am

    You’re doing so awesome with swimming! Congratulations! I love to swim, but it’s mainly just to be in the water not laps. Your oat bowl is making me hungry.

  • Mariely April 26, 2011, 12:05 am

    Hello Caitlin!

    I had been reading your blog since January and I absolutely love it! However, I suck at leaving comments… Today I need your opinion and help! I’m 25 years old and I’m a proud aunt of a wonderful 8 year old boy. I run usually 5 times a week (about 5 miles each day) and today he asked me if he could join me on my runs (my sister and brother in law said that if it was safe it will be ok with them). He runs very light and fast, but I have no Idea if it is safe for him to run. I know you are a coach for “girls on the run”, and I would appreciate your opinion!


  • Christine April 26, 2011, 12:21 am

    Cereal! Cocoa Puffs! Honeycombs! Ohs! Honeynut Chex! Cocoa Krispies! Cookie Crisp! Trix! Peanut Butter Captain Crunch! I love cereal… obviously all the wrong kinds!

    • Khushboo April 26, 2011, 12:55 am

      Hahah I love this reply!! Peanut Butter Captain Crunch- never tried it but I already know I’d be obsessed!

  • kyndra April 26, 2011, 12:30 am

    way to go on the swimming! i watched that video on the open turn before my last swim session and i tried it out. like you, i nearly drown when i try to do flip turns. the open turn worked a lot better than whatever it is i was doing before.

  • Little Bookworm April 26, 2011, 4:53 am

    Congratulations on the swimming progress! 🙂

  • Chad April 26, 2011, 6:33 am

    I love simple little salads like that – good job on beating your goal 🙂

  • Christine @ Burning It Off April 26, 2011, 6:46 am

    That’s awesome. Good for you for sticking with it and learning to get past your mental blocks.

  • Ambre April 26, 2011, 11:25 am

    What kind of hummus is that? It looks amazing… 🙂

    ALSO – good job on beating your goal! 🙂

    • CaitlinHTP April 26, 2011, 12:15 pm

      White bean basil from TJs!

  • Mary (What's Cookin' with Mary) April 26, 2011, 12:12 pm

    YAY for progress!

    “Because I cannot do a flip turn for the life of me (I nearly drown every time), I opted for the open turn, which Victoria recommended.” – It took me AGES to not feel like I was drownding while doing a flip turn !!

  • Kim April 26, 2011, 12:47 pm

    Happy Birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You work so hard to make your dreams come true and that is what I admire most about you.Thank you for being a constant source of support and inspiration!

  • Theorist April 26, 2011, 1:23 pm

    during your tri training you inspired me to get back in the pool (thanks!). but my goggles make me look like have 2 black eyes? do your new goggles do this? anyone have any recommendations for goggles. I can’t teach with 2 black eyes. it freaks the kids out.

    • kyndra April 26, 2011, 2:02 pm

      i’m thinking your goggles might be too tight. too much suction!

  • Kristen April 26, 2011, 2:54 pm

    awesome job on the swim!

  • Michele April 26, 2011, 6:28 pm

    Wow, small world! I found your blog because the raw twins linked you to theirs saying happy birthday, so first happy birthday! and second, I live in charlotte, nc too! I moved here last year from Ohio. Don’t you just love it? I run, too. Currently training for a half marathon which will take place on may 21st! We should meet up sometime!

  • Annie April 26, 2011, 6:35 pm

    Happy Birthday, Caitlin! I hope 27 is a wonderful year for you!

  • Toni @runninglovingliving April 27, 2011, 7:02 am

    Happy Birthday, hope you had an amazing day!

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