Five things I need more of while training for a Half Ironman:


1) Time – Training is so time-consuming, and it’s always a battle to balance my obligations. I can’t imagine doing a longer event. My friend Meghann is doing an Ironman, and I’m always texting her for advice on squeezing it in. Because if she can work full-time and train for double the distance, I can totally do this (right?).


2) Sleep – I always want more sleep. Did you know that endurance athletes should get more like 8 to 9.5 hours of sleep?  Also… “Cardiovascular performance can be compromised by up to 20 percent with sleep deprivation, which also reduces reaction time, the ability to process information and emotional stability.”  (Source)  While my 7.5 hours a night certainly isn’t sleep deprivation, it’s starting to feel that way.  I want more sleep!  This goes back to wanting more time.


3) Food – Always hungry. Always eating.  YUM!


4) Water – Always thirsty.  Should be drinking more.  Working on that.


5) Massages – Coach Marni has on my plan that I need to get a massage.  Don’t have to tell me that twice!


One thing I am NOT short on this week? Inspiration!







Sunday was Ramblin’ Rose Winston-Salem, the fourth of our six events.  It was a blast.  I think it was our best one in 2013 so far!  The women were so great, and even though the bike course was hard, everyone pulled through and finished strong.  I was there at 5:45 AM and didn’t leave until noon – but I left with energy.  The enthusiasm of the crowd was infectious.  I just LOVE seeing the wide range of women who complete the event – young and old, experienced and tri newbies, new moms and grandmas…. It really proves anyone can do a triathlon if they want to.  (Side note: we still have two events this year in Charlotte and Chapel Hill… join us!  It’s an awesome first triathlon with a 250 yard pool swim, 8 mile bike, and 2 mile run.)


So, that being said, here’s how my week went…


Monday: Off

Tuesday: 1 hour spin class

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: 1 hour run

Friday: 2100 yard swim + 30 minute run

Saturday: Off

Sunday: 1:30 hour


Total: 2100 yards of swimming, 1 hour of biking (indoors), and 18 miles of running

Any other week of my life, I would’ve been like, “WAHOO! What a great week!” However, for Half Ironman training in week 6 of 12, that was pretty lackluster.  It was a stepback week, which meant I was supposed to go easier, but I took too many days off and my volume was low.  I was highly a cold all week and needed to take a nap on Saturday instead of training – I was far too pooped to exercise.  I do not regret that nap at all!


I’m going into Week 7 now a little more inspired, a lot healthier, and very motivated to kick my own butt.  I can’t believe I’m more than halfway done with the plan.  Miami – here I come!


What do you need more of during training?  Tell me in the comments section, and I’ll pick one winner for a little prize – a Ramblin’ Rose swim cap and water bottle.  This way, even if you live in Washington state, you can have a little of the Ramblin’ Rose inspiration when you workout. And this is my favorite water bottle ever!  It’s perfect for holding while running.


I’ll pick a winner on Thursday!



  • Faith August 20, 2013, 8:17 am

    Ugh, time. I think everyone wishes they had more of it – especially those of us with a commute and a regimented schedule and a job that’s not working from home on various internet projects 😉

    • Sara August 20, 2013, 7:15 pm


  • Lauren @ The Highlands Life August 20, 2013, 8:19 am

    I am like you, number one would be more time. Chasing a 10.5 month old, working, cooking and cleaning just seem to make the days go by so fast that I feel like I have nothing more to squeeze in.

  • Lily August 20, 2013, 8:26 am

    I definitely need more at-home motivation. I am easily inspired while reading a magazine on the bus, or reading blogs at my desk during lunch, but once I walk in the front door 90% seems to evaporate!

  • Hannah August 20, 2013, 8:29 am

    I need more humor. As strange as that sounds if I get too serious about training it takes the fun out of it and makes me not want to do it

  • jill August 20, 2013, 8:35 am

    I need more….self-confidence .I CAN do it!

  • Logan @ Mountains and Miles August 20, 2013, 8:37 am

    Sleep! Always sleep.

  • Erica August 20, 2013, 8:41 am

    I could definitely use more TIME! With 3 kids and a home based construction business, I could put some extra time to good use!

  • Sara @ LovingOnTheRun August 20, 2013, 8:52 am

    The one thing I need more of during training is time for the “other things.” Stretching, core work, and a few weights would be great but with all the running its hard to make time to fit all 3 of those in!

  • Alyssa August 20, 2013, 8:58 am

    I agree, Caitlin, that I too need more time and sleep…and time. I’m always finding myself having to hit snooze 5 times, THEN get out of bed, get to my workout late and have to cut it short. 6 hrs of sleep just isn’t enough! But how am I supposed to get 8 hrs of sleep AND get everything done that I want/need to??? It’s hard to make possible!

  • Ashley N. August 20, 2013, 8:59 am

    I could always use a bit more patience! 🙂 Congrats to you on being halfway through your plan, what a great accomplishment!

  • Kim August 20, 2013, 9:13 am

    Time! And sleep. I notice when I’m training hard my need for sleep definitely increases noticeably.

  • Erin August 20, 2013, 9:22 am

    Sleep! Such a good point you mention in how it affects everything we do.

  • melanie August 20, 2013, 9:24 am

    definitely time! and healthy snacks

  • Jessica @ FromtheKitchentotheRoad August 20, 2013, 9:24 am

    I need more sleep. I didn’t realize endurance athletes needed more sleep. The 6 1/2-7 hours I’m getting these days isn’t going to cut it long term.

  • Coco August 20, 2013, 9:28 am

    I need more motivation!! Ughhh I am in a slump!

  • Erin August 20, 2013, 9:34 am

    I need more time! Sometimes feels as though there are not enough hours in the day!

  • Natalie August 20, 2013, 9:37 am

    I just need to be able to get up at 5:30 am. If I could get up at 5:30 am, I could do ALL of the things I want to do!

  • Emily @ The good era August 20, 2013, 9:45 am

    Definitely massages (twist my arm!) and yoga. But like everyone else, more time would be helpful too 🙂

  • Kelsey August 20, 2013, 9:51 am

    I need more motivation! I don’t have any friends that are runners, and my family doesn’t really get it either so I very rarely have support on race day. I want to find more runner friends! Suggestions?

    • Caitlin August 20, 2013, 10:56 am

      Have you looked into running groups in your area?

      • Samantha August 20, 2013, 1:30 pm

        Caitlin- I don’t know if you’ve ever thought of having a community aspect of the blog (people looking for running/weight loss/healthiness buddies)- but it would be awesome. I’m sure that’s way too much of a time commitment, but if you ever hit a period when you’re bored (yeah, not sure when that would happen!) i’d be the first to sign up!
        Basically, this blog is so awesome it attracts a lot of great people.

  • Jacqueline August 20, 2013, 9:58 am

    This is a no-brainer: massages!

  • Stephanie @ Academic Triathlete August 20, 2013, 10:02 am

    I need more cool temps! It’s going to get hotter here again soon and I’m not looking forward to getting my runs in.

  • Katie August 20, 2013, 10:07 am

    I need to incorporate speed work!! I can slow it down and go for a long run, but my legs just never seem to want to get speedy!

  • Alicia Wynn August 20, 2013, 10:10 am

    More hours in the day, and definitely more sleep!

  • Leslie August 20, 2013, 10:10 am

    I need motivation and inspiration. I recently completed a goal Iwas working towards. I need something new to inspire me. I would love to have have a new swim cap. I think I would feel a little more empowered each time I slipped it on.

  • Mademoiselle B August 20, 2013, 10:19 am

    Well, I need more sleep! I tend to sleep only 6 hours a night and that feels a lot when I have to train harder. Plus, I don’t always sleep well. I need to find tricks to help me to fall asleep easily.

  • Andrea B. August 20, 2013, 10:42 am

    Sleep (and hence of course time), I love my bed!

  • Jen W. August 20, 2013, 10:46 am

    I definitely need more time & motivation. Just isn’t enough hours in the day to get everything accomplished.

  • Elizabeth August 20, 2013, 10:47 am

    I resonate with all of these, but if I had to pick one, it would be more sleep!

  • Kim August 20, 2013, 10:54 am

    I need running motivation! I am training for my first sprint tri, and I have all the motivation in the world for getting in the pool (I was originally a swimmer) and I really enjoy my time on the bike, but when it comes to running… Nothing! I really want to do IM Miami 70.3 in 2014, but every time I look at a training plan and see the running I cringe! I will be going to watch (and hopefully volunteer!) at IM Miami 70.3 this year for inspiration!!
    I recently lost my job 🙁 so at least right now I have time and can really focus on getting in great mileage every week!

    • Caitlin August 20, 2013, 10:55 am

      I hope you find an even better job soon!

  • Amanda August 20, 2013, 11:08 am


  • Liz August 20, 2013, 11:12 am

    Time, time, time. I’ve sort of accepted that I need to make time rather than expecting to just have more time. So in that case – more chocolate milk please! I always run out at critical moments.

  • Farah @ Fabulously Farah August 20, 2013, 11:19 am

    I think you hit the nail on the head with the whole more time thing. There aren’t enough hours in the day! You seem to be doing an awesome job training while balancing a family and your work though. Keep it up!

  • Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine August 20, 2013, 11:19 am

    I am definitely with you on getting more sleep! I usually go to bed at 10, but wake-up at 4:30. I just can’t stop myself form waking up so early!

  • Kristen August 20, 2013, 11:25 am

    Hey, I live in Washington state! (Love the purple – Go Dawgs!) I’m with you on needing more time and sleep. I feel that way pretty much all the time though, not just when training.

  • Denise August 20, 2013, 11:44 am

    Im going to try and hit up a yoga class this week, but its my biggest challenge: getting the stretching in.

  • Ems August 20, 2013, 11:53 am

    More time! Between full time grad school and work, plus my family, some days are a tight squeeze trying to fit everything in!

  • Laura August 20, 2013, 12:04 pm

    I think I need a little bit of perspective in training. Lately I’ve been getting so worked up about paces, mile counts, and checkmarks on my calendar that I’ve forgotten I do this because it’s fun. Because I get to make silly playlists that will make me laugh even at mile 22, because running alongside 10s of thousands of other people is exhilarating and inspiring, and because getting to pound the pavement is a luxury, a gift to my health and mind.

  • Megan (The Lyons' Share) August 20, 2013, 12:16 pm

    Great job, Caitlin! I agree to sleep, time, and massages :).

  • Sara @ Zero to Sixty August 20, 2013, 12:26 pm

    Well you already have the thing I need more of and that is sleep! I get an average of 6 1/2 hours a sleep a night (I know so bad)… but for the stakes of the give away ill come up with a new one as well and that is a free weekends! I want to run a 10K in the fall and I kill it all week (even though I have a full time gig!) but I been away for the majority of the weekends and miss my swim (cross training) and my long run on Sundays. Maybe with a new Ramblin’ Rose swim cap I will get extra motivated 🙂

  • Angie August 20, 2013, 12:27 pm

    Time!! And, as a corollary, stretching, which I would do more of if I had more time…

  • Anna August 20, 2013, 12:30 pm

    More socks! They keep disappearing and then I cut into exercise time searching for a pair.

  • Amanda August 20, 2013, 12:33 pm

    I need larger water bottles when training on the bike. Itty bitty .5 liter ones aren’t cutting it.

  • Emily K @ Leaf Parade August 20, 2013, 12:36 pm

    I completely agree that more TIME would be a fantastic thing to have right now! These days, it seems like time is passing more quickly than ever — I really wish it could be just the opposite!

  • Ashley August 20, 2013, 12:40 pm

    more time between injuries! I keep having the most annoying injuries pop up and set me back. Must remain injury free!

  • Michele August 20, 2013, 12:52 pm

    Time, motivation and cooler temps for sure….and a few running friends would be nice. : ) I have to share a quick story about a small local race from this past weekend for those of you needing motivation and inspiration. A small scale out-and-back 5k turned out to be one of the most special moments in my running life! A young girl about 14 or 15 in the race was cheering everyone else on as they were passing by her (including me). She never gave up. At the end of the race, a few of the men that had finished very early on saw her coming in alone (and last) and ran up to greet her and run her through the finish line. It was so sweet to watch! Best of all, this young lady was honored with a “Runner’s Spirit” trophy for her dedication to finish the race and for her support of the other runners as they went by. Proud to be part of this wonderful running community!!

  • Kim August 20, 2013, 1:03 pm

    Oh my gosh, I think you hit all of what I need more of! Time, food, sleep, water for sure!! And the massages would be an awesome reward as well. 🙂

    I had a dissatisfying (marathon) training week last week too. I was able to get a Tuesday night and a Saturday morning run in, and boy was I sore from taking WAY too many days off! This week is a better week… no excuses!

  • Caroline August 20, 2013, 1:07 pm

    Haha, I need more SPORTS BRAS! I am always running out before I do a load of laundry. Luckily, it’s a pretty easy fix!

  • jam August 20, 2013, 1:14 pm

    Definitely food! I’m SO hungry when I train!

  • Stephanie August 20, 2013, 1:19 pm

    Motivation! I always need motivation to get out of bed at 5 am to workout!

  • Samantha August 20, 2013, 1:25 pm

    I need more Motivation! I always feel so good after a workout, but getting myself there is a challenge. I’ve been trying to workout in the morning before work, and it’s been a rough transition.

  • Misty August 20, 2013, 1:29 pm

    I need more laziness. For example on Sunday I got up and ran 10 miles outdoors, stretched, showered, went to church, spent all of lunch trying to keep my toddler from destroying Panera, went to open gym at my CrossFit box and spent 90 minutes working on snatching, went home, took care of my toddler all afternoon/evening while my husband was at work, cooked meals for the week, pulled a wagon around the block, read “10 Little Penguins” approximately 1,000 times, stretched and foam rolled and went to bed where I slept for 6.5 hours before waking up to do it all again.

    Any advice?

    • Teal August 20, 2013, 9:44 pm

      No advice, but I wanted you to know that you are so brave and such an inspiration! Have you thought about starting a blog?

  • Daniela S. August 20, 2013, 3:06 pm

    I need a physiotherapist to help me with my running injury and a swim coach to help me with my swimming.

  • kristin s. August 20, 2013, 3:21 pm

    Sleep, sleep and more sleep!

  • Annika August 20, 2013, 3:32 pm

    Water, food, sleep and time

  • Stephanie August 20, 2013, 3:33 pm

    Definitely time! Work and commute already eats up 11+ hours of my day, add in 8 hours of sleep and that only leaves 5 hours a day to wake up and get ready, cook dinner, spend time with my husband and train… phew! It’s not my first tri, but this weekend is my first POOL tri! #excited

  • Katie D. August 20, 2013, 4:24 pm

    I ALWAYS need more sleep during training!

  • Katie August 20, 2013, 4:28 pm

    I KNOW! Totally feel you, girlie!

    I have a 3 year old and I work full time as an attorney (40-50 hpw). This morning went: 7 mi run at 5:25 AM, shower, blow dry hair, wake up toddler, give toddler breakfast, drive to daycare, drop off, get to work, get into court at 8:30 – whew! Also we aren’t allowed to have any food or drink in court so I am a thirsty girl today lol 😉

    When I was IM training I didn’t have a baby so life was a leeetle less stressful but I did a lot of 5 am swims and 7 pm runs to fit in while working full time.

  • Kate August 20, 2013, 4:41 pm

    Definitely Time! With being a full time student and having a part-time job, it is SO difficult to make time for training.

  • Sandy N. August 20, 2013, 4:46 pm

    Time!!! I never seem to have enough of it. Kids go back to school on Thursday…maybe I’ll find it then??

  • mary @ minutes per mile August 20, 2013, 5:53 pm

    I agree with you — time. Hard to fit it all in (without losing more sleep). Another thing I’d want: money! I’d love to cross train with Pilates and/or CrossFit but belonging to a gym is too expensive.

  • donna August 20, 2013, 6:01 pm

    Yoga and weight lifting!

  • Ilene August 20, 2013, 6:37 pm

    I need more patience. I get fed up with my run early on at times and really need to just stay patient and wait it out, because it gets better at least 20 minutes in 🙂

  • Alex @ Kenzie Life August 20, 2013, 7:17 pm

    I need more of the firm belief that I’m stronger than I think, both mentally and physically 🙂

  • Lela August 20, 2013, 7:21 pm

    I could use a little more patience when I’m training. I sometimes get frustrated with my progress. But when I’m patient, the results always come!

  • Brooke August 20, 2013, 7:59 pm

    I need more sleep.

  • Amy August 20, 2013, 8:34 pm

    SLEEP! I am a nurse who works full time nights (12hour shifts, either 3 or 4 per week, depending on the week) over an hour from my house!!

  • Calla August 20, 2013, 8:38 pm

    I need more self-discipline in my workouts! My goal is to say to myself, ‘Since I have 30 minutes to exercise today, I will try my best and push my limits in those 30 minutes’. Instead of doing this I often exercise for longer but at a less intense pace. Self discipline would help me eliminate this type of inefficient, ‘lazy’ exercise!

  • Kate @KateMovingForward August 20, 2013, 8:41 pm

    Always FOOD, especially carbs!!

  • Britton August 20, 2013, 8:48 pm

    Definitely time!! Why is it that we always run out of time!! If there were just 26 hours in a day!!!! 😉

  • Emily August 20, 2013, 9:02 pm

    1. Water
    2. Confidence
    3. Organization of my schedule
    4. Faith

    -Keep up the training and proud of you for listening to your body-we all need more of that with less guilt !

  • lmm831 August 20, 2013, 9:24 pm

    A little bit of everything. I am not good with the whole process 🙁

  • Elisabeth August 20, 2013, 9:40 pm

    I definitely need more time… Ten hour workdays + 2 hour commute/day makes for short training time availability.

  • Verlin August 20, 2013, 11:47 pm

    Forgiving knees – I need my knees to be a little less angry with me! Thanks for always being so positive in your blog.

  • Julianna @ Julianna Bananna August 21, 2013, 2:37 am

    i definitely need more yoga in my training! i absolutely love CrossFit and running, and yoga always seems like such a pain. i definitely need to go to more classes, especially since i know that it will help with my performance & flexibility.

  • Emilka August 21, 2013, 6:30 am

    I need more trails. I LOVE trail running and I just tolerate road running. My husband and I recently moved from an area with small but still lovely trails to a more urban area where the running is main roads and suburban sprawl. We are within 10-20 minute driving distance to some mid-size trails so I can get my fix on the weekends but I miss a good mid-week jog on single-track.

  • Jenny O August 21, 2013, 9:07 am

    I just registered for my first half ironman in Mont Tremblant Canada! What I need right now is lots of training which is going to require lots of time and effort!

  • Krissy @ RunningforBeer August 21, 2013, 10:35 am

    I need more injury free runs! I am currently battling runners knee (I read your posts on overcoming it!) and it is a struggle to keep the momentum going when your body is not cooperating. All I want to do is stay on track for a marathon in November and a Tri in May! Now I just need my body to keep up! 🙂

  • Abby August 21, 2013, 11:21 am

    Time and energy!

    Having a 2.5 year old and 1 year old shouldn’t be an excuse but….I know it will become easier. I do what I can.

  • chattynatty August 21, 2013, 12:16 pm

    First off- I’ve been crazy busy so have been not reading my favorite blogs- hence I’m finally catching up on your’s and am excited to see/hear you are training for 70.3. I am thinking of putting that on 2014 “to do” list, so will totally get back to reading you more often as inspiration and learning for next year. So TIME is the thing we are all in need of, but sometimes it is really the ability to get rid of the TIMESUCKS in life- those things that are suppose to take 20 minutes, but end up taking an hour (too many examples to leave one). So send this awesome bottle and swim cap my way and I can add it to my “don’t need to purchase” list for upcoming 70.3 in 2014.

  • Sydney @ Trust the Skinny Cook August 21, 2013, 2:18 pm

    I need more babysitters during training! Particularly ones that work for free and come to MY house!

  • kim August 21, 2013, 3:18 pm

    I would say it’s a tie between protein and patience!

  • Michael August 21, 2013, 4:27 pm

    I could always use more sleep. I can honestly feel the lack of sleep the most, a close second is constant aches and soreness. I am considering taking fish oil to battle inflammation in hopes that it will ease some of the aches.

  • Ali August 21, 2013, 4:54 pm

    I love your stenciling and paint color! That looks awesome. I am trying to re-do parts of my house right now, but I’m such a chicken when it comes to colors and patterns. I love it!

  • Jennifer August 21, 2013, 10:41 pm

    You’re getting there! Great job! Eventually you will achieve the body that you wanted to achieve. It takes time, patience and of course, dedication. You go girl!

  • Emily August 22, 2013, 7:57 am

    This time of year I need more daylight! I’m an after work workouter(?) and my training is peaking for my first 1st Olympic in <3 weeks so it's starting to get a bit dark when I finish up my longer workouts (I do the longer stuff on the weekend).

  • Luv What You Do August 22, 2013, 12:17 pm

    I need those things too!!!!

  • Floey August 22, 2013, 7:03 pm

    I need more endurance! And my swim cap just broke too! haha

  • Kristen E August 22, 2013, 7:56 pm

    definitely more sleep!!!

  • Mela August 23, 2013, 10:26 am

    Who won?!

  • amanda bowen August 24, 2013, 12:16 am

    I need to focus more on getting plenty of healthy calories, instead or using extra calories burned as an excuse for eating junk food!

  • Kerry August 24, 2013, 12:35 am

    I could use more sleep, but also more time to relax in the morning… since that is the only time that I’m not super busy! I wish I could convince myself to finish runs by like 6:30am so I could just bum around the house all morning 🙂

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