My, oh my.  I felt good about today’s sprint tri, but I didn’t think it would go THIS well!


I shaved almost 12 minutes off my previous person record!  Excuse me while I dust my shoulders off.  It feels so good to PR again – it doesn’t happen very often nowadays (my last was in October)!


Now – I haven’t changed my training at all in the last month – three days of running and three days of swimming.  Practically zero bike rides.  What made the difference in my race times?  Visualization and motivation, yo!  I wanted to PR so badly; I dug deep and pushed through moments that I would’ve normally viewed as an excuse for a rest.


I actually wrote all my times from my last tri (swim / transition, bike / transition, and run) on my arm in permanent marker when I woke up.  I was THAT determined to crush them.  I knew that I could do better in the swim and especially in transition (5:23 and 4:43 is seriously laughable – a good transition time is under 1:00). 


But – first things first – I woke up at an ungodly hour and had breakfast:


Standard pre-race fare – peanut butter and banana sandwich with coconut water.  And coffee.  Lots and lots of coffee.


And then I headed to the park.


I actually went to this race all by myself. No friends to race with and no support (the Husband worked the last six days and I didn’t want to wake up him up at 5:00 AM).  I thought it would bother me (I’ve never done a tri alone) but it was actually kind of nice – I just got to focus on doing what I needed to do.  Plus, I ended up running into some casual friends at the event, which was nice.  The tri community is super friendly.


I checked in, got my chips, and got body marked:


And set up my transition area.  Thank goodness for the Sprint Triathlon packing list; I’m always so afraid that I’m going to forget something important.


So – then it was time for the swim.


The swim was a 750-meter rectangle.  Water temperature was about 85 degrees – bathwater!  There was a treading start, which I actually prefer to a running start.  My goal was to come in under 20:00, so I focused on even, thorough strokes and steady breathing.  I noticed that I kept veering right; I did this in my last two races, too.  Any tips on how to stay straight in a lake!? I try to sight!


I flipped to my back a few times, but otherwise, I was strong.  No freaking out in the lake.  I think I’m officially over my fear of open water.


I blasted out of the water in 20:45 – I saw the clock and was pleased because I knew that I had taken a minute off my time, according to my arm.  Heh.


Into transition we go!


I knew I could make up a lot of time in transitions if I actually tried.  So I focused on getting in and out as quickly as possible.  The race’s transitions were very well-organized, so I got on the road quickly. 


Ate some gel on the way out:


Now – the ride.  The ride is definitely my weakest area.  It was 16 miles, and it took me 1:01:39.  The girls above me finished in 49 – 53 minutes.  I really need to figure out how to get faster.  I wish I could blame in on my shortie legs, but I think I Just need to train harder.  Any tips on getting faster?


AND my chain popped off in the middle of the ride.  Ugh.


I was happy to see the dismount area.


Again, I tried to transition as quickly as possible.  Based on some advice from a few readers, I decided to take another gel packet (so 200 calories total).  I do think it helped me maintain my energy through the end of the race – so thanks! T2 took me 2:12.


The 5K was mostly on the road.  It was SUPER hilly.


I passed a woman and two guys in the last 0.25 to the finish line.  I came across in 29:41, a little faster than last time. Wahhoo!


My final times:


  • Swim: 20:45
  • T1: 2:59
  • Bike: 1:01:31
  • T2: 2:12
  • Run: 29:41
  • Total: 1:57:06


Post-race fuel:


And then I drove 45-minutes to my house, making the car stink like a dirty lake.  Heh.


Sunflower buttah, protein powder, almond milk, and frozen banana smoothie:


After a long, hot shower and a little nap, I woke up and devoured lunch.  I had a refried bean and goat cheese sandwich (truly amazing! try it), some almonds, and greens.



In closing, this was an awesome race experience.  It feels nice to cross a finish line and feel proud, ya know?  It really motivated me to get competitive with triathlons.  I think, if I put a little effort in on the swim and bike, I can maybe even place in my age division.  I came in 5th out of 8 today, so I’d have to move up two spots and probably lose another 13 minutes or so. 


I’ve definitely come a long way from my Olympic triathlon last year, huh?  I had a panic attack in the water and nearly quit, and now I’m already daydreaming about my next tri.  I’m glad I stuck it out because now I really love it.


Any advice on swimming straight?  Or speeding up on the bike?  I’d love to learn a few tricks!



  • Sarra July 17, 2011, 2:51 pm

    bad ass x 4702387402374023740247

  • Jackie @ That Deep Breath July 17, 2011, 2:54 pm

    For a second I thouht you put the Corn & Chile salsa into your smoothie…wacky smoothie combinations are great but that would be a little toooooo wacky! haha

    Great job on the race!!

  • Freya July 17, 2011, 2:57 pm

    YAAY congrats Caitlin!! What an amazing time, and I’m so glad for you that the open water thing is OK 🙂 You rockstar!
    No bike advice…it takes me an hour to do 8miles, let a lone 16 :p

  • lynne @lgsmash July 17, 2011, 2:59 pm

    Congratulations!! I thought the same thing as Jackie (Above) about the salsa going into the smoothie 🙂 How’d you get the picture of you finishing w/o any supporters at the race?

    • CaitlinHTP July 17, 2011, 4:31 pm

      Hehe 🙂 I asked one of the supporters to snap a pic of me going down the chute again once everyone else finished 🙂

      • Allison @ Happy Tales July 17, 2011, 4:45 pm

        HAHAHA that is amazing!!! Truly a blogger.

      • Alett July 18, 2011, 7:43 am

        yes! I also wondered about the finishing pic AND the salsa…phew! I can go on and read now that that is all cleared up in my cranium : )

    • Brandy July 17, 2011, 5:11 pm

      I wondered the same thing! ha.

  • July 17, 2011, 2:59 pm

    Awesome! Especially with trampling your open water fear. May I make a suggestion? Take today to keep dusting your shoulders off, you deserve it. Pay NO attention to getting faster for the next time (that can start tomorrow). Just indulge in your amazing defeats today!!!!!

  • Emily @ Comfortable Home Life July 17, 2011, 3:00 pm

    AWESOME JOB! You must be on cloud 9 right now. I know I would be! I love the combination of refried beans and salty cheese (I use feta!). I usually add a squirt of sriracha and it’s basically heaven in my mouth.

  • DadHTP July 17, 2011, 3:03 pm

    “I Just need to train harder. Any tips on getting faster?”

    since you can’t ride a lot…intervals indoors once a week. 10X2 after a warmup, so hard you hate it.

    Have fun!

  • Amanda @ The Beauty Notebooks July 17, 2011, 3:04 pm

    YOU GO GIRL! So proud of you! Enjoy the rest of this amazing day 🙂

  • Lindsay July 17, 2011, 3:06 pm

    Nice job!
    Do you alternate sides when breathing? Try to take a breath every 3rd stroke instead of every other stroke if that’s what you’re doing now.
    As for the getting faster on the bike, the answer is the same as it is with running. Speedwork! Interval training, hill work, tempo miles, etc… I bet HTPdad could write up some good workouts for you!

    • Kristie July 17, 2011, 3:44 pm

      I was about to ask if you do bilateral breathing too! I have heard it helps with swimming in a straight line. 🙂

    • CaitlinHTP July 17, 2011, 4:36 pm

      I do every third…. Hmmm. I wonder why I’m weaving!

    • Allie July 18, 2011, 8:30 am

      Make sure your arms are not crossing your center line. Pretend there a line drawn down the middle of your body, right between your eyes, try to not let your arms cross this line as you stroke. It will make you swerve, and it can cause shoulder problems down the road.

  • Zoe LaPier July 17, 2011, 3:07 pm

    Congrats on your PR! I’m so glad you got over your fear. Open water swimming is one of my favorite activities ever. There are a few different ways to try and swim in a straight line, but easiest is to get in the habit of every few breaths (swimming freestyle) breath to the side and sweep your head up to look forward for the course markers. It’s kinda awkward feeling at first, but it keeps you on track.

    As far as biking goes- I practice speed work inside on a spin bike. Usually I do longer bike sprints by peddling really fast for a whole song. I personally like doing it this way (kinda like a spin class) because music always seems to motivate me to go for longer. Good luck!

    • CaitlinHTP July 17, 2011, 4:39 pm

      I think I need to get my butt to a spin class, good advice.

  • Khushboo July 17, 2011, 3:10 pm

    Wowie great recap & Congrats, you are awesome 🙂

  • Becky July 17, 2011, 3:11 pm

    I’m not much of a biker, but my (bike messenger/mechanic) boyfriend has told me that working on increasing your RPMs (rotations per minute, or spinning your pedals faster) can help with your speed on the bike…I wonder if doing some training at a slightly lower resistance and really focusing on spinning more quickly would help at all in terms of getting your legs used to moving faster. I also ride a fixed gear bike (some of the time), and feel like that has made me faster in general because you can’t coast on a fixie, so you’re forced to pedal the whole time you’re riding. At any rate, it sounds like a fabulous race – congrats on the PR!

    • CaitlinHTP July 17, 2011, 4:41 pm

      Hmm I might need to look at my gear shifting, too. You’re right!

  • Christine @ BookishlyB July 17, 2011, 3:11 pm

    Congrats! You’ve come a long way!

  • Lindsay R. July 17, 2011, 3:12 pm

    Congrats on a great race! 🙂 You rock!

  • Julia July 17, 2011, 3:12 pm

    How did you become comfortable with open water?

    My problem is that I put on goggles and then the water tends to be kind of merky and I can’t really see out of my periphery because its just dark water. Sometimes I wish I didn’t wear the goggles. The only benefit is that it makes me swim faster.

    • CaitlinHTP July 17, 2011, 4:41 pm

      I just did open water swims over and over again until I wasn’t scared.

  • Gina @ running to the kitchen July 17, 2011, 3:13 pm

    Woohoo! Nice job Caitlin you rocked it!

  • Molly @ RDexposed July 17, 2011, 3:16 pm

    Congrats! Unique medal too!

  • Baking N Books July 17, 2011, 3:18 pm

    So proud of you! Congrats!

    Hmm…tips? Just train :)…and eat sunbutter…and refried beans..;)

  • SarahC July 17, 2011, 3:19 pm

    Wahoo!!! Congrats, Caitlin … what a great PR! Even better, congrats on getting over your fear and having fun! 🙂

    • SarahC July 17, 2011, 3:21 pm

      PS I laughed out loud at DADHTP’s advice to do intervals “so hard you hate it.” I’ll have to remember that when I’m cursing the pain as I run.

  • ashley @ ashley's adventures in alaska July 17, 2011, 3:20 pm

    No tips because I’m not a great swimmer or biker (I haven’t swam in years!) but… woohoo Caitlin! You did fabulously and I am so excited for you! I love the idea of writing your previous times on your arm to keep motivated and know what it takes to finish faster. I just may try that for my next race!

  • Samantha cycles. July 17, 2011, 3:22 pm

    To increase your bike speed, one of the best things to do is interval sprints. You can even do it indoors on a trainer. Here’s a good article to start off with and some explanations.

    Congrats on a great event today!!

  • Chelsea July 17, 2011, 3:28 pm

    I don’t have any swim/bike tips but I do have a running one if desired! I’ve been wanting to set a running PR for like 3 months now so I had my boy-friend hop on a bike while I ran next to him. If I wanted to go faster he would change the gears and I found that kept my pace the entire time. and in the end? 5k in 26:50min!

    Anyway great job girl getting over your fears! That’s GREATT!

  • Devon July 17, 2011, 3:33 pm

    Go you! for the swim, try alternating your breathing as others have suggested. Try doing a “hypoxic” set in the pool- breathing every 3,5,7,9 strokes then back down again. Also- check your hands! your entry should be at “1 and 11” o’clock. If you veer, crossing over to “12” is usually a culprit. It’s a ton easier to tell if you have a buddy watch you in the pool!

    • CaitlinHTP July 17, 2011, 4:43 pm

      Oh man, breathing ever 9 stroke sounds impossible! How does that help?

  • Krystina (Organically Me) July 17, 2011, 3:47 pm

    You’re awesome! Good work, chicka!!!!

  • Kierstan @ Life {and running} in Iowa July 17, 2011, 3:48 pm

    Congrats on a great race! Reading tri-recaps always makes me want to sign up for one. I think I am too scared though…!

  • Mary July 17, 2011, 3:50 pm

    wahoo!! I think you’re definitely over your fear of open water swimming!

    I agree with you, if you train smart and focus you can for SURE become competitive with triathlons!

    You’re making me so excited to do my first tri in a couple of weeks!! EEK!

  • Jess@atasteofconfidence July 17, 2011, 3:50 pm

    Congrats! It’s nice to feel proud of yourself, isn’t it? In terms of swimming straight, just try to get your bearings when you breathe. Its hard in open water, but there should be something around you can see to catch yourself early if you are veering. Keep your body in line, too.

  • Wendy July 17, 2011, 3:51 pm

    I have no advice for swimming or biking (I rode 16 miles on Friday and it took me right at an hour, just like you!), but I just wanted to say congrats! Those are really awesome times, and you deserve to bask in your accomplishment!

  • Sarah @ The Strength of Faith July 17, 2011, 3:53 pm

    CONGRATULATIONS! It seems like you’ve really had fun with these past two races.

  • Karen July 17, 2011, 3:53 pm

    NICE JOB!!!! You have come so far on your swimming, very impressive. Ditto what everyone else said about the bilateral breathing. Also checking that you are putting your hands in at 1 and 11 (12 would be your head if you are thikning of the cirle around you as a clock). If that doesn’t seem to help, I have heard of people who know they drift one way or the other to start on the opposite side to take advantage of the drift. If you know you are going to drift to the right, start to the left of the pack.

    as for the biking, same issue here, would love some speed! From everything I have heard it is something that comes with seat time so put in your miles.

  • Alison July 17, 2011, 3:53 pm

    Congratulations, Caitlin! I’m so happy you had a great race. I don’t swim or bike, so I don’t have any advice; just wanted to say great job!

  • Melissa G July 17, 2011, 3:54 pm

    Great job! I’ve been biking for about 8 years now and doing tri’s for 6 so I think I can give you some advice 🙂 In order to get faster on a bike you’ve got to spend more time in the saddle. Period. Not on a trainer, on a road, up hills, flats, down mountains, etc. I’ve been doing tri’s for about 6 years now and I actually spend less time now on the bike training than I used to because I’ve already built up the muscle memory it takes. Biking uses completely opposite muscles than running. So remember how much time you spent running when you first started to get fast? That’s what you need to do biking. Also this will help you get more comfortable on your bike so you can handle it better, which will make you faster. So spend some time training when you have more time in your life- like not writing a book at the same time! 🙂 You did great especially considering everything else going in your life!

    • Brandy July 17, 2011, 5:14 pm

      I agree – best way to get better is just to keep riding! And, like running, it helps to ride in groups if you can. You can learn a lot from those who are already strong riders.

      • Kristina July 18, 2011, 1:27 pm

        I definitely agree with these two. I’m still very slow on the bike, but when I was training for my first tri, I made sure that I did at least 1-2 rides a week on my bike to gain confidence on it and to get used to shifting at the right time. Spinning helped me a lot in terms of strength, but I think that time in the saddle is key.
        I know that you’ve mentioned how hard it is to ride in Charlotte. Are there areas just outside of Charlotte that are more bike-friendly? We’ll often drive 30-40 miles just so that we can get in a really solid 25-30 mile bike ride. It makes for a full weekend morning, but it is totally worth it.

  • Kristen (inspiredbydooce) July 17, 2011, 3:56 pm

    Congratulations Caitlin! So glad to see you had such a successful swim! Great PR and I’m sure you’ll just keep crushing your tri PRS as you get more confident.

  • Sonia the Mexigarian July 17, 2011, 4:03 pm

    Congrats on your PR!! That’s amazing 🙂 I occaisonally veer into lane lines at the pool, mostly in backstroke though, but I remember my coach in college had me focus on breath and stroke to straighten me out. And I agree with the cycling advice. Intervals. I got unbelieveably fast with the interval trainging at my spin class when I used to go. Now, not so hot. lol.

  • Mel July 17, 2011, 4:05 pm

    Yay! I love reading about triathlons. Nice work this morning.

  • Shannon July 17, 2011, 4:08 pm

    Awesome job today!!!
    Try some hill repeats to increase bike speed. Or trainer workouts-(30min warm up, 4x4min sprint at race pace. Slow 5 min recovery spin in between each sprint. 30 min cool down.) When I want to work on speed I ride with people faster than me and let them kick my butt. Good luck!!!

  • katie @ KatieDid July 17, 2011, 4:08 pm

    Congrats on making so much progress since your first tri, wow! I can sense your confidence and self pride and that’s great. I’m envious of people who have the guts to compete in these sorts of events, craziness!!

  • Alaina July 17, 2011, 4:17 pm

    Congratulations on such a great race!!!

    I’m seriously thinking about doing a sprint tri now. They look like so much fun!

  • Melissa (MelissaLikesToEat) July 17, 2011, 4:27 pm

    Congrats on the race!! What a great feeling to PR! I’ve thought about doing a sprint tri but open water freaks me out. 🙁

  • Lindsey @ Gluten-Free Lindsey July 17, 2011, 4:30 pm

    Yay, congrats!!! 🙂

  • Yolie @ Practising Wellness July 17, 2011, 4:36 pm

    That’s absolutely incredbile, Caitlin! CONGRATULATIONS! You are amazing! 😀 xyx

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) July 17, 2011, 4:38 pm

    Congrats Catilin! That’s awesome!

  • Yolie @ Practising Wellness July 17, 2011, 4:38 pm

    PS: Your pre-race breakfast sounds divine – everything you’d ever need for energy and hydration! 🙂 xyx

  • Kate (What Kate is Cooking) July 17, 2011, 4:45 pm

    Congratulations! You did awesome 🙂 You look like a total badass in the picture of you coming across the finish line again!

  • kalli@fitandfortysomething July 17, 2011, 4:46 pm

    great race caitlin! wow you did so well! you need to just ride your bike! get in at least two rides a week ranging in distance from 15 to 30 miles. that will help a lot 🙂

  • Allison @ Happy Tales July 17, 2011, 4:47 pm

    Ahhh what an amazing race, you KILLED it, Caitlin! Now i gotta ask… how exactly does a “treading start” work? Are you in deep water and actually treading water? Or are you just standing in waist high water? Also, how did you go about fixing your bike chain?!!?!?

    • CaitlinHTP July 17, 2011, 5:04 pm

      Yup we swam out and treaded for about 1 minute before we could go. It wasn’t so bad!

      And I just popped my chain back on. 🙂 My hands got greasy!

  • Brandy July 17, 2011, 5:15 pm

    Thanks for the great recap!! I love reading about all your racing. I’m a big racer myself and get super motivated every time you post race reports!! way to go out there today!

  • Eliza July 17, 2011, 5:17 pm

    Congratulations! I’m training for my first sprint tri in a month and I was so eager to hear how yours went this morning. Sounds like you blew it out of the water! I need to work on getting faster on my bike (and swim!) too, so I’m definitely going to use some of these great tips. We can do it!

    • Eliza#2 July 18, 2011, 3:02 am

      That’s my name 😀

  • Gracie (complicated day) July 17, 2011, 5:21 pm

    Great PR, doesn’t that always feel good? BTW did you get times for your transitions?

  • Sophie July 17, 2011, 5:23 pm

    Yay I’m glad it went so well, you must feel so pleased now!
    You inspire me to really want to race, maybe one day…

  • @HilaryFleming July 17, 2011, 5:32 pm

    Congrats Caitlin! This totally makes we want to do a sprint triathalon. Except I am TOTALLY terrified of open water and I kind of suck at swimming. Have you always been good at swimming? I know you’ve mentioned your fear of open water before, but I wondered if you were always good in a pool? I can back stroke and breast stroke (but mostly dog paddle). How long would I need to train with swimming to get to the point where I could reasonably do it? Any ideas?

    • CaitlinHTP July 18, 2011, 11:10 am

      I think you should look into adult classes. I had a friend spend one day with me in the pool and it made a HUGE difference. If you aren’t comfortable yet in the water, get some instructions!

  • Sweet and Savvy July 17, 2011, 5:33 pm

    Congratulations!! That’s such an accomplishment!: )

  • Lindsay Loves Veggies July 17, 2011, 5:33 pm

    Wow!!! You are amazing!! Congratulations badass!!!

  • CH July 17, 2011, 5:40 pm

    Congrats on getting over your open water fears to finish strong!

  • JennB@BeMe July 17, 2011, 5:44 pm

    I think I have been convinced of the fun a sprint triathalon can be! Gonna start looking at one to sign up for! Thanks.

  • Alex @ Working Housewife July 17, 2011, 5:51 pm

    Congrats! I’ve been waiting for this post all day! You inspired me to complete my first sprint triathlon and reading this has me excited to start looking for my next! You are AMAZING!

  • Carol July 17, 2011, 5:52 pm

    Way to go on your PR!!! You look so happy!

  • SaraRM July 17, 2011, 5:55 pm

    Congratulations, im glad that it went so well!

  • Jess July 17, 2011, 6:07 pm

    Congrats! All your hard work definitely paid off. To get faster on the bike, I think intervals and hill training would help but I’m no expert.

  • allison @ thesundayflog July 17, 2011, 6:12 pm

    yayyyyyyyy! congrats!!!! this just made me so excited for mine!!!! re: swimming straight – i had a swim clinic this morning and the sheROX coach said to use bilateral breathing (alternating sides and breathing every 3rd stroke) to stay straight. most people who breathe on one side tend to veer towards that side. i tried today but i was really short on breath for some reason so i stuck to breathing to the right. anyways, awesome job!

  • Callie July 17, 2011, 6:16 pm

    Congrats!!! That’s so awesome. 🙂

  • Victoria (District Chocoholic) July 17, 2011, 6:18 pm

    Ummmmmmmm I have no tips on doing better in open water because I got like 100m off course in my swim yesterday. I blame the ocean waves. And the fact that I was having more fun watching fish than racing.

    I guess to get faster on the bike, try doing some anaerobic threshold work to get more power – this is probably really important in a sprint length tri.

    So now, when are you signing up for an olympic-length race?

    • CaitlinHTP July 18, 2011, 11:04 am

      I’m so nervous about the Olympic distance because of the run! I don’t think I can handle 6.2 right now.

      What race did you do yesterday?

      • Victoria (District Chocoholic) July 18, 2011, 11:36 am

        You could always run/walk! But I understand wanting to take it easy on the knee.

        I did the Waimea Bay 1.2 mile ocean swim off the coast of Oahu. Fun stuff.

  • Jacalyn July 17, 2011, 6:26 pm

    Congratulations! This is a long way from DNF’ing because of water fears!

  • Kelley @ Just Call Me Jack July 17, 2011, 6:36 pm

    Wow, congratulations! You are such an inspiration….

  • Ash @ Good Taste Healthy Me July 17, 2011, 6:46 pm

    Looks like you did amazing! Sorry I don’t have any tips for you!

  • Cat July 17, 2011, 6:51 pm

    My other tip for getting faster on the bike (if this hasn’t been covered) is when you do ride, try to do some hill repeats. Just ride as many hills as you can and try to sprint up them. I’ve been riding a lot this spring, doing lots of hill repeats and recently went on a ride with my ex-boyfriend (he’s a pretty accomplished cyclist) and I totally killed him on our hilly ride. It was a-w-e-s-o-m-e! He even said that I’d “leveled up”. Probably doesn’t hurt that I just got a new carbon-frame bike and that he’s been traveling for work and not riding. But who cares, at least I still kicked his butt! 😉

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin July 17, 2011, 7:03 pm

    Big congrats Caitlin! You rocked it! 😀

  • RunEatRepeat July 17, 2011, 7:49 pm

    Great job!!! You rock 🙂

  • Jenny @ Fitness Health and Food July 17, 2011, 7:52 pm

    Oh my goodness, congratulations!!! What a wonderful accomplishment!

    I LOVE that you wrote your times on your arm in permanent marker, that is a commitment to success! 🙂

    Re biking, to be honest, your equipment and body positioning makes all the difference in the world. Clipless pedals and bike shoes are key but so are aero bars. My husband and I have awesome hybrid bikes and weren’t about to spend thousands of dollars on tri bikes for our tri so we bought aero bars for ~$100 and mounted them on our bikes! Worked like a charm and other triathletes were coveting our affordable ingenuity!

    Re swimming it’s definitely tough when swimming in open water because you don’t have underwater visual cues to help guide you. What I would do in the pool during training is use a floaty in between your legs and use only your arms. That way you can make sure that your strokes are even and you’re moving straight forward.

    Let me know if you need any more tips, I’m always happy to help! 🙂

    • CaitlinHTP July 18, 2011, 11:00 am

      Okay, I am DEFINITELY going to reinstall my aerobars.

  • Ellie@fitforthesoul July 17, 2011, 8:04 pm

    Omgoodness great great job on the new PR!! That is a huge chunk of time~This is pretty inspiring Caitlin~

  • Ciera @ Rose and Thistle July 17, 2011, 8:09 pm

    Wow go you, congrats on the PR! It looks like a really nice little triathlon too, not too busy and daunting 🙂

  • Corrie Anne July 17, 2011, 8:14 pm

    WOW!! Hooray! Congrats!!!!! I know you can do even better!! Good work!!

  • Leigh July 17, 2011, 8:18 pm

    Congratulations on your triathlon finish today! I just did my first sprint triathlon today and now I want do another one. For redemption sake!

    • CaitlinHTP July 18, 2011, 10:58 am

      Congrats on your first 🙂

  • Holly @ The Runny Egg July 17, 2011, 8:47 pm

    Great job today Caitlin!!!

  • Susan July 17, 2011, 8:59 pm

    Whoot whoot – raise the roof! YOU ROCKED IT!!!

  • Theodora July 17, 2011, 9:28 pm

    Congrats!!!! I’m doing my first sprint tri on Saturday, and I’m just going to reread this like every day between now and then.

  • Jen July 17, 2011, 9:44 pm

    Awesome job! Yay for PRs 🙂

    Do you do hill work and standing up on the trainer? I swear that’s the only reason I’m decent on the bike.

    • CaitlinHTP July 18, 2011, 10:57 am

      No. But I should!

  • Meaghan (My Spoonful Of Inspiration) July 17, 2011, 9:55 pm

    Congrats on TWO races in one weekend! That’s so awesome… and inspiring 🙂

  • Lindsay@ In Sweetness and In Health July 17, 2011, 10:04 pm

    Congrats on setting a new PR :)! That’s so awesome!

  • Paige July 17, 2011, 10:08 pm

    Way to go, Caitlin!! You should be so proud! 😀

  • Cate July 17, 2011, 10:12 pm

    Congrats Caitlin! Way to go – sounds like you had an awesome race. 🙂

  • Erin @ Naturally Addicted July 17, 2011, 10:25 pm

    Congrats! Congrats! I love your tri posts! It’s so inspirational. First thing I’m doing when I get a job is buy a bike to start training!

  • Bea July 17, 2011, 10:26 pm

    Wow..that is impressive. Congrats on breaking your PR..does feel great when it happens.

  • Sana July 17, 2011, 11:09 pm

    Get that race PR!

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing July 17, 2011, 11:12 pm

    That is AMAZING!!! Congrats!

  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife July 17, 2011, 11:15 pm

    waho!!!!! WAY to PR, that is awesome 🙂 Congrats! I love Tri’s . Can’t wait for another one….soon!!

  • Amber from Girl with the Red Hair July 17, 2011, 11:57 pm

    Yay Caitlin! I totally just starred this post in my google reader to come back to as I’m doing my first sprint tri in six weeks. I’ll need some motivation closer to the time. I did a swim – bike – run workout yesterday and it was HARD!

    Congrats on your PR. You rock!

  • Elisabeth July 18, 2011, 12:13 am

    Congratulations on such an awesome race today, Caitlin! Way to go on the PR 🙂

  • courtney (pancakes and postcards) July 18, 2011, 1:07 am

    YOU ROCK! Good job caitlin!

  • Jess July 18, 2011, 1:18 am

    I was thinking of excuses not to get out and exercise today. After reading this post I went out for my first run in 8 months (was injured, got the all clear and was putting off running again). Thanks!

    • CaitlinHTP July 18, 2011, 10:42 am

      Yay! I am glad you are back to running.

  • Stephanie @Lungesandlunch July 18, 2011, 2:19 am


    I love using visualizations as motivation. Great tactic!

  • Aine @ Something to Chew Over July 18, 2011, 3:53 am

    Wow great job! You should be really proud of yourself 🙂

  • Jeanelle @ Glocal Girl July 18, 2011, 6:45 am

    Congrats on your tri! What an achievement.. it’s amazing what mental visualization does. We used to do a lot of that during my competitive swimming days, since swimming is SUCH a mental sport (which you’re doing well to overcome) positive thoughts is really key.

  • Kelly July 18, 2011, 8:49 am

    Congratulations Caitlin…a 12 minute PR is super impressive!

  • chloe @ 321delish July 18, 2011, 9:22 am

    I would recommend practicing swimming in the pool with your head up. Do about 10 strokes with your head down, then 5 with your head up. Its EXTREMELY exhausting, but helps build the muscles in the back of your neck as well as help in lifting your head while you swim to sight the marks!

  • Ali G. July 18, 2011, 9:30 am

    Would you consider putting aero bars on your road bike? They make long bike rides faster and more comfortable.
    Also,if you can find a spin class taught by an actual cyclist, you will no doubt have more power on the bike.

    During the swim, I try to position myself on the outside and always try to stay close to someone’s foot, letting them do most of the work with the sighting! It works!

    • CaitlinHTP July 18, 2011, 10:42 am

      I have aero bars, I should reinstall them!

  • Karin July 18, 2011, 9:38 am

    Congrats! That is so awesome!

  • Jen July 18, 2011, 9:53 am

    caitlin – congratulations on crushing your PR! so happy to hear that you had a great race and love that you did it solo! you are awesome!

  • Megan @ On the Road Again July 18, 2011, 9:55 am

    I loved reading your sprint recap – makes me want to do another tri soon! Congrats on the nice finish!

  • Angela (Oh She Glows) July 18, 2011, 9:58 am

    Congrats! You crushed that race!! It’s been amazing to watch your progress with tris and especially swimming!

  • Carolina John July 18, 2011, 10:45 am

    Awesome! Freaking fantastic Caitlin. Those T times are really coming down, swim and bike speed will come. just give it more time.

    To swim straight in open water takes other people also swimming straight. Look for the bubbles (or bodies) of the other swimmers. Follow their bubbles, follow their path. If there’s no bubbles I like to sight every other breath just by pulling my head up straight enough to find where I’m going.

    Bike speed comes from getting TITS – time in the saddle. More miles in training = more speed on race day. simple as that. You’ll be over 17 mph in no time flat.

  • Tiff @ Love, Sweat, and Beers July 18, 2011, 11:56 am

    Yay! So happy you had a good race! I’m sure it was worth getting up so friggin early. 🙂

  • Dani July 18, 2011, 12:03 pm

    Congrats!! You’re awesome, Caitlin!

  • Laura @ Cookies vs. Carrots July 18, 2011, 12:10 pm

    Congrats on the PR! All of your training paid off big time!

  • Amber K July 18, 2011, 12:23 pm

    A bit sleep deprived from last night, I don’t want to admit how long I loved at the first sentences. Not because there is anything funny, but because “my oh my I felt good about today’s sprint tri” rhymes.

    Moving on to more sane things. Way to go! You stuck with it and overcame your panic attacks. I never know what will bring mine on, so I’m not sure how to get rid of them. Thankfully they don’t happen too often.

  • Kayla @ July 18, 2011, 12:28 pm

    Congratulations!! This is awesome and I am soooo happy you are owning the swim 🙂

  • kyndra July 18, 2011, 12:47 pm

    to get faster on the bike, you need to do some hard intervals. just spending time on your bike isn’t really going to make you much faster. the trainer is good for that- you can give it your all and concentrate without having to worry about traffic or dealing with lights or stop signs, plus it’s easier to keep your hr exactly where it needs to be.

    congrats on the PR!! you must feel really accomplished. i rode a distance PR myself, yesterday. my first century!

  • Sophie @ threetimesf July 18, 2011, 12:49 pm

    Congratulationns! You did amazing! 😀

  • Rachel July 18, 2011, 1:08 pm

    I don’t know if anyone asked this yet – but did you just leave your camera at the transition area? I’d be so worried that someone would steal it. I did a bunch of races last year by myself and it was always such a hassle trying to figure out a safe place to leave my stuff that didn’t involve waiting in a huge “bag check” line.

    • CaitlinHTP July 18, 2011, 1:56 pm

      I put my camera back in my car but I leave my Garmin on my bike and my car keys in my bike bag… I am pretty trusting. Especially during races.

  • Jolene ( July 18, 2011, 2:30 pm

    Congrats on a new PR Caitlin!!!

  • Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday July 18, 2011, 2:52 pm

    Congratulations on your awesome triathalon!!!

  • Julia H. (The Petite Spiel) July 18, 2011, 3:15 pm

    Congrats–great job! The AC in my office is cranked up today so I’m currently freezing, and reading about you swimming in that water made me feel even colder haha. I’m glad it felt like “bathwater” to you, though!
    Also, what kind of almonds are those?? They look like they have sesame seeds or something on them. Funky!

    • Caitlin July 18, 2011, 3:20 pm

      Sesame-seed encrusted cashews from Trader Joe’s! MMMM.

  • Luna July 20, 2011, 8:31 am

    Wow Caitlin, you conquered this tri!!Awesome job!!:D

  • Jody July 22, 2011, 8:49 pm

    Caitlin-Breaking a PR by nearly 12 minutes is phenomenal! That is so impressive. Writing your previous times on your arm is a great idea and without question I will be doing that at my next race. You wrote that you got comfortable with open water swims by doing them over and over again, can you (or anyone) give me places in the Charlotte Metro area where I can practice open water swims? Obviously there are lakes in the area. Earlier this year I had a Deputy call me out with his megaphone and since then I haven’t found anywhere to train in open water except for LKN State Park and the clinics offered at LKN YMCA.

    • CaitlinHTP July 23, 2011, 8:57 am

      i don’t know any places. 🙁 maybe it’s worth contacting one of the local tri places and asking?

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