So I ran a race this afternoon.  It was an 8K (or 4.97 miles), and it started at 3 PM.  Those two factors alone drew me to the race; I was really looking forward to bangin’ it out and hopefully beating my PR, which was 50:21. 


DadHTP, BIL Nick, and Henry came with me (the Husband had to work).  I was glad that I had family there because I really do think I would’ve bailed at the starting line otherwise.  I just had one of those days, you know?  I won’t even explain the teeny tiny little thing that put me in a foul mood because it was so, so, so stupid in the grand scheme of my life.  But one thing, and I was donezo for the day.  Henry was also fussing right before they called us up to the starting life, so I reeeeeally didn’t want to go.  But DadHTP gave me a mighty heave-ho and, before I knew it, I found myself running the muddy trails.

photo 1 (1)

You know – I don’t think I’ve ever ran a race in a bad mood.  I’ve gotten into a bad mood in the middle of a race – hah, obviously – but never started one feeling foul.  It was not a pleasant experience.  And it was such a contrast to last week’s half; I was so happy all race.  This race was not-so-fun.  I tried to get out of the bad mood… Just couldn’t.


Well, this dude did help my mood.  Oh yeah.  Ran behind him for a bit.  And then I obviously HAD to pass him.

photo 2 (2)

It was 45 degrees; he must’ve been freezing.


I felt better when I finished the first loop because I got to see Henry, and he wasn’t fussy anymore.  I stopped for thirty seconds or so and gave him snuggles.


I kept noticing other runners with RunningWorks shirts – when I got home, I immediately looked up the organization:


RunningWorks is a new organization founded just this year that works with the homeless "Neighbors" in our Charlotte community.  Twice a week, volunteers meet with the Neighbors and the group goes on a run together.  The organization provides them with athletic clothes, support, and training advice.  More information about RunningWorks can be found here.


Many of the people in RunningWorks shirts were volunteers that raced as a fundraiser, but a lot of the RunningWorks runners were homeless Neighbors.  I wish I had known during the race what the organization is all about so I could’ve offered support and encouragement.   And additionally, after coming home and reading about RunningWorks, I felt particularly bad about being in such a yucky mood during the race.  Perspective.  Sometimes I lack it….


In the end, I still did really well, and it was fun to cross the finish line – in 45:47.5, a big PR – and hug Henry.  I’ve always wanted to be the ‘racing mom,’ and this is the first race Henry has come to.  Smile


How totes adorable does he look in that lion winter suit?!  It’s his official running outfit; he normally only wears it when he comes on a run with me in his jogging stroller.


All in all, the race was a great course, supported an awesome organization, and the crowd was enthusiastic.  I’ll definitely be doing the Winter Classic next year – hopefully, with a bigger smile on my face!



  • luv what you do January 26, 2013, 8:31 pm

    Congrats on getting to the starting line…sometimes that is the hardest part of the race : ) you are one cool running mamma and even I had to smile at the thought of you following the speedo dude. Something like that combined with an amazing organization working in your community would have surely turned my frown upside down. Thanks for sharing and I hope that you are enjoying your Saturday night…laying low and feeling proud of that PR!

  • Leslie M. January 26, 2013, 8:35 pm

    good job! I loved the guy in the speedo, I would have died passing him.

  • Carrie January 26, 2013, 8:35 pm

    I laughed out loud (as I’m sitting at my kitchen table…alone…haha) when you said you HAD to pass the guy in next to nothing! I had a bad day, too, and was sooooo not motivated to go on my run. I stepped on the treadmill crabby and stepped off the treadmill happy! It is so true that running IS cheaper than therapy! Congrats on a new PR!

  • Amy Q January 26, 2013, 8:37 pm

    That seems like a great distance and hour for a race!

  • marjie January 26, 2013, 8:40 pm

    Henry is seriously the CUTEST little boy I have ever seen!! And the lion suit just makes him even more adorable!

  • Carly @ LifeInTraining January 26, 2013, 8:44 pm

    Congrats on the amazing PR!!! That’s a big chunk of time to take off! That charity sounds really inspirational, I remember reading about a similar group in Chicago that trains homeless runners for the marathon. Have a good rest of your weekend! 🙂

  • Jessica R @ From the Kitchen to the Road January 26, 2013, 8:52 pm

    Nice PR. That’s fun your little guy got to come along!

  • Lisa January 26, 2013, 8:53 pm

    Adorable picture of you and Henry. Congrats on the PR!

  • Sara @ LovingOnTheRun January 26, 2013, 9:09 pm

    Congrats on the race!!!! and the PR!!!! At least the guy took your mind off the run haha – must have been very entertaining!!!

  • Sana January 26, 2013, 9:20 pm

    Glad you had an awesome race even with a bad mood!

  • Catherine January 26, 2013, 9:25 pm

    Congrats on your PR!!! You’re amazing! Don’t diss that guy… he was probably just a superhero of some sort. 🙂

    And also, you look fantastic!

  • Karen @ Runner Girl Eats January 26, 2013, 9:25 pm

    Congrats on the PR! I have run races in a bad mood and it def sucks. Sounds like it ended up being pretty decent though and that is such a great cause to support.

  • Lauren January 26, 2013, 9:52 pm

    Congrats on the race! And that dude in the speedo is too funny! I’m pretty sure I would have screwed my PR just to follow him the entire time for a good laugh.

  • Kate January 26, 2013, 11:16 pm

    This was so interesting to read, because I think we have the idea hammered into us that we should always look at the big picture and not get caught up on the little things. Which is all true and good advice in the long run, but it also doesn’t mean that you can’t get in a bad mood and be upset, ya know? Like, yes, there are worse things than whatever you may be upset about, but it doesn’t mean that you don’t have the right to be upset about it. My friends have to continuously remind me of this, cause while it’s certainly important to keep perspective and not get in the habit of throwing pity parties for yourself, it’s also important to let yourself feel what you’re feeling and just have a crappy day once in a while without feeling bad about it. I hope tomorrow is brighter!

  • Jessica January 26, 2013, 11:28 pm

    Congratulations on starting and finishing given the days’ challenges. You inspire me every day and yet it’s a comfort to know that you can overcome bad days too. (Not that I wish them on you). I am truly in awe. 2 races in one week while doing all the other amazing things you do. Incredible! Bravo!

  • jenn January 27, 2013, 1:06 am

    Congrats on the pr! That is great ! I was in a foul mood too today … It was stupid too …and it took some work to get out of it. I reminded myself it is ok to stop , take a few breaths and just start my day over ! Haha had to do it a few times but it worked and I had a great rest of the day !

  • Morgan January 27, 2013, 7:24 am

    I think it is amazing when anyone runs over a 5k in any amount of time, so it is all in your perspective. :-). Great job!

    As someone who isn’t much a runner, maybe this is one reason I was scratching my head at the charity organization you described. These people are homeless and I would think the last thing they really need or want is advice on “training” for races and whatnot. I hope they at least have a meal or meet about job opportunities in the community alongside the running in a group. This just seemed so weird to me, like straight off of the “Things white people like” site. Lol.

    • Caitlin January 27, 2013, 9:09 am

      They work with an organization that provides a safe place to stay, food, interview skills etc. I have not done much work with the homeless but I think you are assuming they don’t have needs that extend beyond the basics. From what I gathered from the website, RW helps provide them with community support and a sense of personal pride.

      • Morgan January 27, 2013, 10:29 am

        I wasn’t assuming they don’t have needs beyond the basic, I was saying that basic needs probably should be addressed first, or at least, alongside something a bit more frivolous, like running for sport. But again, I am not really a runner so I may miss the essence of this. Of course, I am all for anything seeking to help the community’s homeless. I have taken part in the local Food Not Bombs, which is an awesome organization, and have met some great people.

        • Michelle January 28, 2013, 8:47 am

          Can’t comment on the Charlotte program specifically but it sounds like it is modeled after “Back on My Feet” which has chapters in a few cities across the country. They start out working with shelters, etc. to identify people to become a part of the program. They show up to run with volunteers three days a week for a month. If the participants make a certain % of those runs (showing commitment to the program and that they are willing to put in the work to end up in a better place than where they are), then while continuing the running aspect, they also get counseling, job training, and all other kinds of help to get them into a job, finding a place to live, or in other words, back on their feet again.

  • Joy January 27, 2013, 8:31 am

    Congratulations on the fabulous pr! You should be so proud of yourself!

    I lack perspective a lot of times and hate how hard it is to get out of a bad mood, so I understand you there.

    I think Henry gets cuter by the day!

  • Coco January 27, 2013, 8:42 am

    Great job! That guy must have made you laugh out loud! Henry looks super adorable 🙂

  • Anne January 27, 2013, 9:04 am

    Congrats on the PR! I always say that the days I feel like working out the least I have the best workouts. Keep it up racing mama!

  • Shel@PeachyPalate January 27, 2013, 9:10 am

    Wow brilliant time well done! Glad Henry picked up 🙂

  • Sarah (The Simple Dietitian) January 27, 2013, 10:13 am

    Great job on the race!! I always find that when I’m in a “mood”, it breaks apart after a run. Maybe not during, but after. A successful run can turn everything around. 😀

  • Emily January 27, 2013, 10:54 am

    Hi Caitlin –

    I’m a new reader and I can’t help but be impressed at your training recently – whatever you’re doing with the little guy and the jogging stroller must be paying off! I ‘d love to hear more about it – please do a trainingHTP post! i’m a fairly new runner and am always looking for good training tips and info!


  • Lara January 27, 2013, 11:30 am

    OMG the lion suit is too. much. SO cute.

  • Katie @ Talk Less, Say More January 27, 2013, 11:57 am

    Congrats on getting out there, finishing and getting a new PR! Sometimes the hardest thing is just making ourselves GO, doesn’t matter if it’s an everyday run or a race.

  • Alex @ Raw Recovery January 27, 2013, 12:36 pm

    That guy must have been freezing!! Wow, brave! I love the picture with you and Henry! You are a racing mom and that’s so cool!

  • Kelly January 27, 2013, 12:55 pm

    You. Are. Awesome. I love it! I can’t believe what bangin shape you are in so quickly after giving birth!!

  • Elise @ Expeditions of Elise January 27, 2013, 2:07 pm

    I love the 8K distance. I ran a 5-mile race a few weeks ago and it was a really fun experience. It’s also really neat that it started so late in the day. Congrats on PRing, even in a bad mood. Imagine what you could do in a great mood!

  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie January 27, 2013, 2:11 pm

    I totally giggled when you tweet that pic of the dude in a speedo…..that takes confidence right there. haha

    But yeah, running behind it probably not the best option.

  • ali January 27, 2013, 2:26 pm

    Well done! Hope whatever was bothering you isn’t bothering you anymore!
    It actually makes me feel a little better to read that other people struggle with feelings like that, even when it’s something seemingly inconsequential.

    Henry is SO cute! Oh, and can I just say you look AMAZING! I’ve read for quite some time but don’t think I have ever commented.

  • Sarah @ Yogi in Action January 27, 2013, 2:52 pm

    Congrats on your PR!

    Good for you for going for it, even though you weren’t feeling your greatest.

  • My Neon Running Shoes January 27, 2013, 2:53 pm

    Congrats on your huge PR! Love when my son comes to the race to support me 🙂

  • Stefanie January 27, 2013, 3:15 pm

    Good for you!
    And that sounds like an awesome organization. The mental health outlet running provides is pure medicine, and since I’m assuming folks have a choice about whether or not to participate, a program that goes beyond the basic needs and sees folks as whole beings with complex needs and interests is exciting. We have to be careful with assuming we know what marginalized groups of people “need”, it’s important to get in the habit of asking first and engaging in dialogue around how folks see their own situations and what their needs are. Otherwise we get into Saviour mode and that doesn’t help anyone in the long run.

    Speaking of run, I wanted to hit you up with some gratitude. Your posts have always been hella inspiring. A former long distance runner, I’ve been dealing with a series of health problems that caused me to step back from running. I’m better now, have gotten the green light, but have had a super hard time getting started again. And here you are, post baby and all, running all over the place. So yesterday I pulled out my gear, and went on a super satisfying, ass-kicking 2 mile run, and FEEL FANTASTIC!!
    All bodies are different and we all need to honor that, but thanks for your energy! It sure sparked mine.

  • Angela January 27, 2013, 3:47 pm

    Sometimes it’s h

    • Angela January 27, 2013, 3:49 pm

      Whoops! 🙂 sometimes it’s hard gettin out of those little bad mood ruts. Nothing like a little perspective to make you realize it! Sounds like a great cause, and little Henry is too cute. I bet he’s proud of his racing mama!

  • Jen January 27, 2013, 4:09 pm

    I bought some hair clips this afternoon and the package had a GOTR logo on them, so I thought of you, lol. How’s Pippa doing with her peeing issues?

    • Caitlin January 27, 2013, 4:26 pm

      Much better!!! Thanks for asking!

  • Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed January 27, 2013, 4:30 pm

    LOL to the almost naked guy! It’s definitely all about perspective… I feel that way about my job, sometimes I just haaaate it, but I have job, I’m using my degree, and I will get paid on Friday. I can’t complain too much!

  • Erica January 27, 2013, 7:50 pm

    I cannot tell you how many times it has kept me going during a race to know that my kids were at the finish line-and sometimes other places on the course. My second marathon I was so lucky to get to see them at mile 10, mile 21, and at the finish. At mile 21 when it was already almost 90* (ughhhhh awful!!), they were waiting for me with a cold soaked towel, some ice cold gatorade, and their sweet faces to power me through those last 5 miles. I honestly could not do any of it without them (the hubs too, of course).

    Proud of your race today! Henry will be waiting at the finish line for you with a cool towel and cheering before you know it. 🙂

  • healthy ashley January 28, 2013, 8:26 am

    I love your love for Henry. Oh my.

    And congrats!!!!!

  • Tabitha (From Single to Married) January 28, 2013, 8:59 am

    I’m so impressed that you ran, especially while being in a “mood.” 🙂 And you’re right – you had to pass that runner wearing the speedo. What was he thinking?

  • Carina January 28, 2013, 12:19 pm

    Have you ever heard of Back on My Feet? I know you’re not into volunteering since you’re so busy, but BOMF is kind of the original and now national equivalent to Running Works. Charlotte apparently doesn’t have a branch, but it sounds like BOMF’s success is part of how the Charlotte group got going. I’ve run with our BOMF chapter and it’s truly amazing. Something you should consider if/when your schedule ever frees up and you’re looking for an ongoing volunteer commitment!

    I once pushed my godson in a stroller behind a guy similar to the one you passed, but his shorts were green for a St. Pat’s race. I was yelling at my godson to close his eyes and I ran as hard as I could to pass him. I told his mom that if he ends up being gay or totally traumatized by green underpants, either one may be able to be traced to that day.

  • Stephanie @ Food and Fitness 4 Real January 28, 2013, 2:07 pm

    My husband, daughter and I ran a 5K this weekend. My daughter asked to run it with us at the last minute, which in hindsight, was probably a bad decision. She was hungry and grumpy before the race and refused to even run when we crossed the starting line. My husband offered to quit and sit out with her less than 1/2 mile into the race, but I told him she needed to stick with it. Fortunately this was a donut dash so they had food on the course. Once she got something to eat, her mood improved drastically and we enjoyed the rest of the race. This was one where I had to dial back my expectations for her and myself. We finished just under 55 minutes, but we crossed the finish line together holding hands!

  • Amber January 29, 2013, 2:19 pm

    I sooo can’t wait to be the ‘racing mom’!!

    Yea for perspective!

  • Suzy January 29, 2013, 3:39 pm

    RunningWorks is awesome, I love what they do! If you ever get a chance to meet with Meredith, the founder, she’s an amazing woman: )

  • Khimmie March 27, 2013, 10:00 pm

    Good job Caitlin! There is no question that after running, all the bad mood will be out of the way!
    Hi Henry! 🙂

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