Excuse me while I sob into a tissue.  Wahhhhh.


The Girls on the Run spring season is almost over – our last lesson is tomorrow and the 5K is on Saturday. I’m always sad when a season ends, but this year, I’m extra emotional because I really love our group – I’ve been with some of them for three seasons!  And this is probably my last season coaching for a while because of the baby.  I’m going to miss coaching SO much; I can’t even describe how happy being involved with GOTR makes me.  I’ll find a way to stay involved, though.


Anyway, GOTR gives coaches a stipend for end-of-season gifts, and I always try to do something memorable and creative.  One season, I gave them personalized picture books with images taken over the season.  Another year, I put a team photo in an autograph-able picture frame and all the girls signed each other’s frames.


I was at a loss for what to do this year – I can’t repeat ideas because, like I said, some of the girls are veterans.  After a great deal of brainstorming, I decided to give each girl a personalized memory box that they can store their GOTR race medal and other trinkets in.


Last week, I had the girls write down one word that describes how Girls on the Run makes them feel (besides hot and sweaty).


Unike = Love!


I bought wooden boxes from a craft store for around $4 a pop, spray-painted them white, and wrote their words and names on the front.


On the inside… these very cool necklaces, which were handmade by a wonderful blog reader named Mary (who has a cute Etsy shop, too).  All different colors, too!



My plan is to bring permanent markers to the last lesson and have the girls autograph each other’s memory boxes on the sides and insides – I think it will be super cute and fun (plus, elementary school girls love to sign their names on things).


Many of you have asked if there is a similar program for boys – there is here in Charlotte! My friend Jon has been volunteering with Let Me Run and wrote an amazing post about the emotional impact the program has had on his elementary school boys.


So – beyond my crafting extravaganza, I’ve had a rather busy Monday – I did seven radio interviews about the new book (whew!!!), finished up a writing project, and tackled some other small tasks.  Once I took a lunch break, DadHTP and I went swimming.  After two weeks of regular swimming, he is definitely getting FASTER!  We now have plans to a triathlon relay together in the fall (he’ll swim, the Husband will bike, and I’ll run).  I did 0.5 a mile before calling it quits.


… Headed back home for an orange crush lunch.


Keepin’ it simple:  carrots, orange, and grilled cheese.  Nothing better.


Hope your Monday is wonderful!



  • Victoria (District Chocoholic) May 7, 2012, 1:42 pm

    All orange lunch. Cute.

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat May 7, 2012, 1:44 pm

    Awww Caitlin you are too cute! What a ‘unike’ gift!! I’m sure the girls will remember them (and you!) forever. Congrats on another successful season!

  • Kath May 7, 2012, 1:51 pm

    What a lovely gift!!

  • Emily May 7, 2012, 1:54 pm

    I can just tell you’re going to be those parents who get all involved with things at BabyHTP’s school. All the kids will love you guys!

  • Earthy Nicole May 7, 2012, 1:54 pm

    What a cute idea for the girls! I love putting together crafts and projects with my little girl but I’m terrible at doing “grown-up” type crafts like home decor, etc. I guess I just lean towards stickers and glitter paint as opposed to varnishes and crown molding, haha.

    I’m still reading the new book but I love it so far. Last night and today I implemented the Restorative Hour and the Power Hour. I especially loved this morning; not jumping out of bed and reaching for the coffee pot. Like you said, it sets the tone for the whole day!


    • CaitlinHTP May 7, 2012, 5:56 pm

      Thanks Nicole 🙂 I appreciate it a lot!

  • Amanda May 7, 2012, 1:58 pm

    Adorable idea! I’m sure the girls will love it!

  • Corrie Anne May 7, 2012, 1:59 pm

    That’s a great fit idea. They’re going to love it. I’d love a grilled cheese… lol

  • Katie @ Peace Love and Oats May 7, 2012, 2:03 pm

    I really hope I’m able to be a coach this fall or next spring! GOTR sounds exactly like the kind of organization I want to be involved with. I’m actually about to sign up to run with their team and fundraise for the Chicago marathon!

  • Annette@FitnessPerks May 7, 2012, 2:25 pm

    Such a CUTE gift!! The little munchkins will love them. And those necklaces are so cool.

    I am off to find me some lunch…cheddar is sounding good all of a sudden…. 😉

  • Whitney May 7, 2012, 2:38 pm

    I love reading about how much you love Girls on the Run. My mom coaches at her Middle School right outside of Charlotte and feels the same as you! I wish we had a program like that when I was in elementary/middle school.

    Side note… Ever since you have been posting about watermelon I have been thinking about it. Finally got one at the store yesterday and twas delish! 🙂

    • CaitlinHTP May 7, 2012, 5:51 pm

      SHARE WITH ME!!!! I’m all out.

  • Sana May 7, 2012, 2:44 pm

    The girl’s will adore the boxes!!!

  • Michelle May 7, 2012, 2:46 pm

    Those boxes are so cute. I volunteered at Boston’s gotr 5k this weekend and it was so fun to see everyone run by! Some of the girls were hysterical.

    • CaitlinHTP May 7, 2012, 5:51 pm

      Thanks for volunteering!

  • Caroline @ After Dinner Dance May 7, 2012, 3:25 pm

    I love it! I really hope I can be involved in GOTR in the fall!

  • Lindsey May 7, 2012, 4:55 pm

    I’m 25 & I still love signing my name on things lol.

  • Rebecca May 7, 2012, 4:57 pm

    Those boxes are adorable! I wish someone had done something like that when I was growing up. Except I wasn’t involved in much besides church… But still. So sweet! What a great keepsake, and a good reminder for them! 😀

  • Cait May 7, 2012, 5:42 pm

    The memory boxes are such a cute idea! I hope you don’t find this to be a rude question in any way, but I’m curious if your GOTR stipend covers such a nice gift or if it’s mostly a gift from you to the girls. I’ve been coaching for GOTR-Chicago for a couple years and we have such limited funds to work with! I believe we get about $25 for our end of the year celebration. It doesn’t go too far with 15 girls. Last year they decorated frames and we gave them photos with their running buddies. I’d like to do something different this year if anyone has any (cheap) ideas!

    • CaitlinHTP May 7, 2012, 5:50 pm

      Do you get $25 TOTAL or $20 per girl for the season? We get $20 per girl per the season which covers a lot. I imagine it’s different and varies from council and council (and I would imagine that GOTR Charlotte is one of the more well-funded councils because it started here and I think we’re the 3 or 4th biggest).

      • CaitlinHTP May 7, 2012, 5:51 pm

        And obviously, what we don’t use goes back into the council.

      • Cait May 7, 2012, 6:34 pm

        Wow, $20 per girl seems like a lot! We get a prepaid card to be used for healthy snacks for the season and then are reimbursed $25 (total, not for each girl) for a party at the end of the year. I’m sure you’re right about the different councils. Chicago is obviously a huge one and they support a lot of girls with the program. I’d definitely rather as many girls be able to participate as possible. It’s just hard to think of cute gift ideas/lap counter motivation etc on a small budget! Made me jealous to see those cute gifts 🙂 We did get to participate in a documentary about GOTR-Chicago this year, so that was something exciting and special! Good luck to the girls at the 5K this weekend!

        • Caitlin May 7, 2012, 10:24 pm

          Take a group shot of all the girls and get it printed on a regular size piece of photo paper with a big white border. Bring colorful markers to the last lesson and have all the girls find their names in the white space on each other’s photo. I would put the food is in plastic sheet protectors so they don’t get ruined. You could probably do this for all the girls for less than a dollar each!

          • Caitlin May 7, 2012, 10:25 pm

            Typed this on my phone! Excuse the errors!

          • Cait May 8, 2012, 5:47 pm

            Cute idea, thanks 🙂

  • Jodi @ Jodi, Fat or Not May 7, 2012, 6:43 pm

    I love the colors of your lunch! Those necklaces are precious too, the girls are going to love them.

  • Laura @ She Eats Well May 7, 2012, 8:06 pm

    This post just brightened up my stressful day. Your gift is very thoughtful and sweet. I am sure they will love their boxes.

    I wish I was a kid again sometimes!

  • Alison May 7, 2012, 8:11 pm

    Those gifts are a fantastic idea!! And I love how the one girl wrote “unike” – I might start using that. 🙂

  • Jen May 7, 2012, 11:56 pm

    Wow – that IS one orange lunch (but tasty looking)! 🙂

    I just love your end-of-season gifts for the girls! It’s obvious that you really put a lot of thought and effort into this & I’m sure that these gifts will be treasured for many, many years to come. Those girls are so lucky to have you!!!

  • Dominique May 8, 2012, 12:38 am

    I think it’s really nice that you put such effort into craft that’s unique for each girl participating in GOTR. I loved crafts as a kid and you’re right…kids sure do like autographing things! We had a running club in elementary school and it was co-ed and just about running–not really about building self-esteem and such. I really wish there was something like GOTR around when I was in high school.

    Oh and I love your orange lunch! Sean always makes fun of my orange lunches or snacks. Last week I had almost the same thing as a snack: orange slices, carrot sticks and some cheese-flavoured rice crackers.

  • Jon @elements2lead May 8, 2012, 12:46 am

    I love what you are doing with the girls and thanks for sharing. You gave me a lot of good ideas for the 5k with the boys! We just ordered green wristbands for them but I need to do a gift at the end too. I did notice that they all wrote all over their shirts. Maybe we need to make jerseys!

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin May 8, 2012, 7:32 am

    That is such a cute idea for a gift – I’m sure the girls are going to love it!

  • Amber K May 8, 2012, 1:07 pm

    What a cute idea! I’m sure they will love the boxes.

  • Julie (A Case of the Runs) May 8, 2012, 4:49 pm

    That tri team sounds formidable. =)

  • Janel May 9, 2012, 3:12 pm

    Hey Caitlin! How do you deal with the girls who have been with you for 3 years and know the curriculum by heart by now? I had a handful of GOTR veterans too and they plan on coming back next season, but I don’t want them to get bored! I know there are two sets of curriculum, right? Even so, the girls could practically be coaches by now! We gave some of the older girls more “coach-like” responsibilities to keep them happy, but it became a challenge.

    • CaitlinHTP May 9, 2012, 3:37 pm

      Yes! 11 out of 14 of our girls were returning girls and I think half of those had been there three seasons so they were getting repeat stuff… I tried to make the explanations shorter and give them more time to discuss how things apply to their lives.

  • Hope Grable May 14, 2013, 5:37 pm

    Hi, I just love the GOTR necklace. What a great gift idea! Do you mind telling me how much it cost?

    Hope Grable

  • Lisa krejcik May 28, 2015, 12:04 am

    You get a stipend from GOTR for end of the year gifts?! I’ve been a coach for 3 years and never heard of this!!

    • Caitlin May 28, 2015, 6:43 am

      No we get stipends for the whole season.

Healthy Tipping Point