GOTR Practice 5K

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Girls on the Run was really fun today – but then again, when is it not?


Coaching the girls (a group of 8 – 10 year olds) is always such an uplifting part of my week. I went into today’s lesson feeling down and sad, but the moment I walked in and heard, “Coach Caitlin!” it all turned around.  Today’s lesson included running a full 5K.  I was pretty impressed that many of them reached that goal and had 19 lap counters (the colorful bands above) on their wrists!  


The theme of today was identifying and fulfilling their values.  For the warm-up, I called out different values (like “You should always tell the truth,” “I must get married one day,” “If a friend tells me to do something, I do it, and I get hurt, it’s my friend’s fault,” and “Making a lot of money is very important”) and the girls would run to a specific side of the court, depending on whether they agreed or disagreed with the value (no wrong answers, of course).  Afterwards, we discussed the values – I had to use a ‘talking stick’ to keep them from screaming over each other!  I guess values are a fun thing to talk about, no matter what your age.


So – GOTR really made my day.  I love coaching and I know the girls get so much out of it, but I swear… sometimes, I think the girls give me just as much. 


Dinner was pretty random:  Hummus + veggie burger sammie, broccoli, sweet potato, and chilled beets.



And honey roasted nuts for dessert. 


Now – if you’ll excuse me, I must crawl into bed and escape to dreamland.  Did I really wake up in Pennsylvania today?  Seems like such a long day!



  • Christina @ Just Running October 18, 2011, 7:58 pm

    Mmm, I love nuts! Honey roasted sounds great.

  • Christine @ BookishlyB October 18, 2011, 8:00 pm

    GOTR reminds me of the healthy version of Girl Scouts 🙂 Or at least what it used to be about :/

  • jen October 18, 2011, 8:05 pm

    caitlin if we can’t listen at 7:30 on thursday is there a way to hear the recording after? thanks!

    • Caitlin October 18, 2011, 8:08 pm

      I think so! I will blog about if so!

      • jen October 18, 2011, 8:09 pm

        ok so don’t register if i can’t listen then? thanks!

        • Caitlin October 18, 2011, 8:10 pm

          I think it might be available afterwards to listen – you don’t have to register. But I will look into it and let you know!

          • jen October 18, 2011, 8:11 pm

            great thanks!

  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife October 18, 2011, 8:06 pm

    My little sis is loving GOTR—so you guys are doing somethin’ right! Don’t you love how when you try to give or serve, you usually feel the benefit of it all?! 🙂

  • Lisa October 18, 2011, 8:13 pm

    wowza – what a day indeed!

  • Vanessa @ Swift as Shadows October 18, 2011, 8:14 pm

    Oh how I wish there was a GOTR in my town! I’d love to help.

  • katie @ KatieDid October 18, 2011, 8:17 pm

    Do you come up with the lesson plan ideas or does GOTR supply you with them? They are always so creative and thoughtful, I wish I had been part of something so uplifting at a young age.

    • Caitlin October 18, 2011, 8:26 pm

      No they supply it. You follow the lessons to a T!

  • Katy (The Singing Runner) October 18, 2011, 8:30 pm

    Wow! You already did your practice 5K? Ours isn’t for another 4 weeks!!! I love the practice 5K- last year we made it an entire race experience with music, bib numbers, water stations, and post-race food. It was so much fun! 🙂

    • Caitlin October 18, 2011, 8:31 pm

      This wasn’t our ‘official’ 5K. The lesson plan just told me to tell them to give it a shot! I was surprised they did so well. How are your girls doing?

  • Army Amy* October 18, 2011, 8:37 pm

    Sounds like a great lesson!*

  • Katie @ Peace Love and Oats October 18, 2011, 8:55 pm

    I’d love to hear their answers about what they thought of some of the values! Mostly “I must get married one day”! I love hearing what younger girls think about things!

    • CaitlinHTP October 18, 2011, 8:59 pm

      Half of them said they want to get married so they can have kids, because ‘you can only have kids if you are married.’ Ha!

      • Sana October 18, 2011, 9:27 pm

        Bahah, if only.

  • Jacalyn October 18, 2011, 8:58 pm

    You are making such a great impact on every girl you coach. I hope this reminder gives you the warm fuzzies and allows you to enjoy your sleep!

  • Vanessa (@IsleStyleLiving) October 18, 2011, 9:13 pm

    I can only imagine what a great experience GOTR is for both you and the girls!

    I wish I had that growing up…

  • Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) October 18, 2011, 9:41 pm

    I’m glad you ended today on a high note. Talking to my boys always lifts me up. They are 13 and 10…such great ages. Sleep well Caitlin.

  • Chelsea October 18, 2011, 10:31 pm

    You’ve inspired me to look into GOTR in my local area and when I find time volunteer. I need my schedule to lessen up because it’s something that I’m truly going to want to put a lot of my heart into. I ran a race with them last year, but I truly had no idea of the impact until you.

    Thank you for sharing <3!

  • Alexa @ SimpleEats October 18, 2011, 10:46 pm

    Every time I read about GOTR I get more inspired. I admire you so much for doing what you do with that organization 🙂

  • Deva @ Deva by Definition October 18, 2011, 11:01 pm

    Those values are really interesting! I wish I was a fly on the wall to hear what they thought!

  • Khushboo October 19, 2011, 12:04 am

    I wish there was a GOTR program in Mumbai, it sounds like such an uplifting experience. Outta curiosity, did the girls agree or disagree with the ‘I must get married one day’ statement?

  • Julia H. @ The Petite Spiel October 19, 2011, 12:46 am

    It’s so great that GOTR is more than just a running club. I think discussing topics like values at that age is key, especially because the girls are in their formative years. Helping them identify what matters to THEM as opposed to what society thinks they should focus on is super important!

  • Sophie @ threetimesf October 19, 2011, 1:21 am

    Everytime I read about GOTR it mskes me really happy! We need more projects like that in the world 🙂

  • kathleen @ the daily crumb October 19, 2011, 7:12 am

    i love your GOTR stories. so inspiring how much we can do to really impact the life of a child.

  • Hillary October 19, 2011, 7:19 am

    You just pointed out one of my favorite things about teaching. As much as my kids can drive me TOTALLY INSANE, on the best days, I’m learning way more from them than they are learning from me.

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin October 19, 2011, 7:34 am

    That’s such a neat idea activity to do with the girls! It must feel so good to know you’re having such a positive impact on their lives. 🙂

    • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin October 19, 2011, 7:35 am

      *idea for an activity

      I haven’t had my morning coffee yet, so my brain is still a bit jumbled. 😉

  • Molly @ RDexposed October 19, 2011, 8:22 am

    If you are going to Pennsylvania, there is a lovely beet farm there that also throws a great garden party including valet parking….

  • Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed October 19, 2011, 8:31 am

    I volunteer coach a community cheerleading squad. Whenever I don’t feel well or am in a bad mood, going to practice definitely changes everything! Although we practice 3 times a week so sometimes it can be overwhelming!

  • Kim October 19, 2011, 8:52 am

    I hadn’t heard of GOTR prior to reading about it on your blog a few months ago, but I’ve signed up to be an assistant coach in the spring. I’ve never worked with kids before, but I’m sure it’ll be a good experience.

  • Kati Mora, MS, RD, Kellogg's FiberPlus(R) Wellness Advocate October 19, 2011, 8:56 am

    What a fiber-licious meal! Although it may be random, it still looks pretty tasty.

  • Ashley @ Good Taste Healthy Me October 19, 2011, 9:12 am

    I feel like you do such a great job with the girls. I really love the GOTR program.

  • CJ @ October 19, 2011, 9:24 am

    I love your values idea! I work in alternative education (the kids who get kicked out of main stream high school come to me, fun, right?!) and we have a class called personal and social development….this would be a fabulous discussion to have with them!
    and i have to agree, some days i can go into work with a negative nelly attitude, and then a student can totally make my day with a hug or a “we missed u mrs weaber!”
    GOTR is an awesome program!!

  • Laura @ Watch Laura Go October 19, 2011, 10:22 am

    Aw I would absolutely love to do this activity with the kids I tutor at an alternative school. The stuff that comes out of their mouth gets me every time and I just feel so terrible that they come from such dysfunctional homes where they find it “ok” to stab their boyfriends or become sexually mature at such a young age. Perhaps I’ll think of a way to incorporate this into a lesson plan… thanks for the idea!!! 🙂

  • Cat @Breakfast to Bed October 19, 2011, 10:39 am

    I am WAY into butternut squash in place of yams right now, but beside those beets (1 looooove beets) I am longing for my old standard.

    GOTR sounds like kinda the best thing ever. I am so envious you get to be a part of it.

  • Blackwood Lady October 19, 2011, 10:49 am

    What an interesting exercise! I think it would be really hard to remove my own value judgements from the discussion. I imagine that doing a program like GOTR would really open up your own awareness about your personal values and beliefs.
    I would love to run GOTR in Australia! We so need something like this here!

  • Meg October 19, 2011, 11:25 am

    I joined GOTR as a coach this year because of you! I love working with the girls and seeing their minds process the topics we get to discuss at practice, but a talking stick would be a fantastic idea…they can get a little loud!

  • Erin @ Big Girl Feats October 19, 2011, 12:10 pm

    I wish there was a GOTR chapter in my state! I love working with middle school students and they definitely always give me something to think about too. I did two years of AmeriCorps service after college so service is a big part of my values/life. Yay volunteerism! 😉

  • Taylor @ Crumbs Don't Count October 19, 2011, 12:29 pm

    Aw, what an amazing concept. I love that you integrated “life lessons” into something completely unrelated like athletics!

  • Rosa - Fitness, Food, Fulfilled October 19, 2011, 12:36 pm

    I love the idea of coaching kids that young. We never had that when I was a kid and it would have been nice to build self esteem and self awareness in such an open forum. I love that you do that.

  • Amber K October 19, 2011, 1:10 pm

    I wish they had had a group like that when I was a kid. I would have learned so much!

  • Sarah@The Flying ONION October 19, 2011, 1:10 pm

    That sounds like a great lesson! And you sound like such an awesome teacher. Those girls are lucky to have you. 😀

  • Yolie @ Practising Wellness October 19, 2011, 3:19 pm

    That’s so wonderful that you get so much from doing such a giving, kind thing <3 you inspire me to volunteer, so much. So much respect to you! I am also loving that meal – looks so good! Hummus and broccoli adn sweet potatoes combined make for very good eats! xyx

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