Poke Me

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So, my back started to hurt last week.  Major sad face.  I’m not sure what triggered it, beyond the expected stress of training, but suddenly, my lower back was hurtin’ so much.  That caused my shoulders to tighten up.  I was a big mess.


I’ve been getting lots of acupuncture from the Husband.  He’s been also doing some moxibustion on the needles (basically, a slow-burning herb that heats them up).  Several treatments later, I felt a lot better.


We don’t have a massage table at home – remember how Kristien did the labor-encouraging acupuncture on our dining room table? (Side note – it worked… my water broke five hours later!).


So Kristien’s been doing this round of acupuncture while I lay on the couch, watching TV or reading a book (I’m currently reading The Circle, which is SO great).  On Sunday, he wanted to do the session while we watched The Walking Dead – I made him wait until Revenge was on because – seriously – no one should watch a frightening zombie show while you have a bunch of tiny needles jammed into your back.


More on acupuncture.


This week, Coach Marni’s training plan directed me to “get a massage.” Oh, hi, you don’t have to tell me that twice!  I had an amazing massage this morning, and I swear, I could feel the last bit of tension in my back releasing.  Here’s to hoping I’m 100% on race day!


Speaking of race day, Marni sent me a “race day prep” worksheet to fill out.  She said I could share some of it with you all.  My favorite part of the worksheet was this checklist at the end.


I reviewed the athlete guide:  Yes, numerous times. 

I have my ID and USAT card (not expired) for check in: I guess I should go find that…

I will attend athlete briefing: Yes! For sure.

I promise that I will race my own race and not compare myself to anyone else except the old me that wasn’t able to race at this level when I started training: Heck yes! I think I have a really, really good attitude about this race. I went into it just wanting to finish strong and feel proud of myself, and that’s how I feel about it, now, too.  I’ll leave placing on the podium to my speedy readers and Coach Marni. Winking smile

I will not stress about things out of my control: Well, I’m a little stressed out about the weather forecast, but this is a good reminder to take a chill pill. What will be, will be.

I promise to just slow down, but to never think about quitting, if I have a low moment (not health related):  One of my race goals is to never let my mind wander to extremely negative places.

I will respect my body and the distance: I’ve got mad respect for you, 70.3.

I will let my mind be my only limiter on race day: YES YES YES.

I have/will continue to thank my team/family for supporting me throughout my training journey: Thank you, thank you, thank you to the Husband (for stepping up with Henry duty while I did long workouts, for listening to me talk about training non-stop, and for traveling with me to Miami to support me), to Henry (for long rides in the jogging stroller and hanging out at the gym childcare while I swam), and to Coach Marni for supporting, encouraging, and answering all my “What do I do?!” text messages.

I will finish strong because I have worked hard for this day:  Believe it, achieve it.


What a great checklist, right?  I like how it’s a mix of practical and inspirational points (that’s Coach Marni in a nutshell).


Ever gotten acupuncture? Whatcha watching / reading right now?  Would you ever get acupuncture while watching The Walking Dead or do you want to jump out of your skin too much while watching such a scary show?



  • Erica @ EricaDHouse.com October 22, 2013, 12:33 pm

    I have my first marathon in 3 weeks and I’ve been meaning to get a massage done. Thanks for the reminder!

  • Sara @ LovingOnTheRun October 22, 2013, 12:38 pm

    I just finished an hour walk on the treadmill while watching Scandal. I found the first season on Netflix! So far it is great – I have never seen it before!

    I would say no – Zombies and Needles in your back do not go together!

  • FitBritt@MyOwnBalance October 22, 2013, 1:05 pm

    I recently did something funny to my new while working out. I wonder if acupuncture would help with that?

    My work has a book club and I’m reading Catch-22 for our next book club meeting!

  • Aurora@Fitness is Sweet October 22, 2013, 1:11 pm

    Good luck on your race! I’m sure you’ll do awesome and it will go great!

  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats October 22, 2013, 1:44 pm

    I haven’t ever gotten acupuncture but I’ve always wanted to!

  • Kendra October 22, 2013, 1:50 pm

    It is amazing how much our physical accomplishments are attributed to our mental awareness. Sounds like you are in the perfect state of mind for this race. You are going to kill it!

  • Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs October 22, 2013, 2:40 pm

    Great checklist! I like Coach Marni’s style 🙂

    I had a chuckle at the idea of getting acupuncture while watching The Walking Dead — I would end up with needles everywhere except where they were supposed to be! It’s not exactly a calm, sit still and be relaxed type of show 🙂

  • Autumn October 22, 2013, 2:44 pm

    I started getting acupuncture a few months back for eczema. I got eczema 2 years ago when I was 29. I tried changing my diet, I still eat gluten free, avoid nightshades and limit my caffeine and sugar intake, I reduced stress in my life and tried lots of potions, creams, etc, however, my skin didn’t get too much better until I did acupuncture. I go once a month now and I only have a little eczema on my hand/wrist now and it only flares up if I’m stressed or eat really badly. I love it and couldn’t recommend it enough if you are suffering a skin condition.

  • Taylor @ Single-tracked Mind October 22, 2013, 2:54 pm

    I’m so excited to hear how your 70.3 goes! You’re gonna rock it!

  • Nikki October 22, 2013, 3:22 pm

    Are you allowed (legally) to do acupuncture at home? I’m just wondering – I’m sure Kirstien takes all the precautions to keep things clean and sterile, and you are family, but I wouldn’t want just anyone doing something like that out of their home, possibly making money off it, and running the risk of hurting people!

    • Caitlin October 22, 2013, 5:32 pm

      I think someone running a business out if their home is more of a zoning issue than anything else. Not really sure though.

      • Rebecca October 22, 2013, 5:46 pm

        Probably depends on the city, but yeah, more of a zoning thing. You’d need a license to run a business out of your home, I think (at least with certain businesses, like a daycare). Here, it’s a conditional use permit to work out of your house. I would assume you would still have to keep records and stuff so if you get checked up on you don’t get in trouble.
        My dad was on our Zoning Commission, so I ask him things.

        • Caitlin October 22, 2013, 8:07 pm

          I heart zoning. Takes me back to my old job.

  • sarah October 22, 2013, 3:50 pm

    LOVE #4. I need to make that my mantra when I run my second ever half marathon this weekend. Sometimes I get so caught up in comparing myself to others who have been running and exercising so much longer than me that I forget to enjoy and acknowledge what I have accomplished

  • Sana October 22, 2013, 3:58 pm

    back pain is no bueno! Glad you are doing better!

  • alli October 22, 2013, 4:06 pm

    i want to be completely immature and say TWSS after your title ;p HA!

    that’s a great list. especially the ones about not comparing yourself to anyone else. i cringe when i hear people bag on their accomplishments, because they think their effort wasnt good enough. i say own it! be proud! but also, keep setting goals and don’t stop trying to become better than past self. it’s so hard to compare previous accomplishments to current ones anyways, because everyday is different- each day we are a little different than we were the day before.

    i would love to try acupuncture someday! it’s always sounded interesting to me.

  • Joy October 22, 2013, 4:10 pm

    I got acupuncture for the first time this year. I had an ankle injury that 6 doctors couldn’t figure out and after 6 sessions with an acupuncturist, it was totally healed. Amazing stuff! I recommend acupuncture to everyone I can.

    I could never get acupuncture while watching The Walking Dead because I am always moving (mostly to shield my eyes). That show is crazy scary and gory this year. Love it. 🙂

  • christina October 22, 2013, 4:42 pm

    hi caitlin thank you so much for this inspiring list! i will run my first Marathon in Frankfurt Germany this Weekend and i am beyond excited 🙂 this list will surely help me through the next days thank you

  • Elizabeth @ Positive Change October 22, 2013, 5:07 pm

    I am reading Room right now and some other mystery/girlie book to be a little lighter! I am watching NCIS and loving it even more! You will do amazing at your race!!! Can’t wait to read all about your strong finish!

  • Kaitlyn October 22, 2013, 5:16 pm

    You can do it!

    I ran my second half marathon two weekends ago. Was completely undertrained due to coming back from injury (longest long run was 7.5 miles, weekly max mileage was 17 miles…hah!). I told myself that I was just going to go to the race, literally take it one mile at a time (my goal became to just make it to the next mile beep from my garmin), and walk if I ever needed/wanted. I had no expectations.

    I’ve never, ever, ever gone into a race so relaxed. I’ve also never, ever felt better during any race. I felt amazing for all 13.1 miles, I never hit a wall, and ended up PRing by 6 minutes. HOW?! I have no idea, but I’m convinced so much of that PR is due to the fact that I just went in to have fun. Remember, just enjoy the event, trust your training, and take it one step at a time 🙂

  • Deanne October 22, 2013, 5:20 pm

    I have had accupuncture for my back bit it made me feel like I had been hit by a truck. That and the lady left needles in me twice. Went to leave an my anckles hurt. Pulled two needles out and gave them to reception (can’t leave them lying around) they looked at me like my head fell off. Eventually stopped going since it wasn’t helping. Although I do believe good acupuncturists can be helpful in some cases mine just wasn’t.

  • Lauren @ Peaks and Passports October 22, 2013, 6:05 pm

    I recently got accupuncture for the first time ever and I think I’m a believer! I have chronic migraines, but the headache I had going into my session disappeared after about the 3rd needle (no joke), and I haven’t had a headache since. That was only two weeks ago, but that’s a pretty long stretch for me. Fingers crossed! And I’m so glad your back is feeling better – have an awesome race this weekend!

  • Rebecca October 22, 2013, 6:06 pm

    Never had acupuncture, but I’ve thought about it or massages. My shoulders and neck are particularly bad, and my feet and knees seem to always hurt, particularly after work. I went to a chiropractor for my knees a couple of times, but haven’t been in several years.
    I’m partly convinced that my spine is now curved thanks to me leaning one way too much. Haven’t had it checked, but I can kind of tell when I try to sit straight. Oops. Should probably get it checked out and be more conscious of it.
    I don’t watch Walking Dead (except for like two episodes with some friends), so that’s not a problem. But I don’t thin kI’d get acupuncture while watching/doing something that would make me move a lot. Which is to say anything because I’m always moving.

    I started re-reading Catching Fire last night because the movie comes out next month. My dad wants to go, and I’ll probably go with him. Our theater already has tickets on sale, but I don’t know my work schedule for most of November yet, so I don’t know when I’ll go. My sister’s going to the midnight premiere where she is for school. Hope she doesn’t plan to go to classes the next day…

    I started watching NCIS LA in order the other day. I’m on season two episode 14 currently. It’s nice to see older episodes in order so I know what’s going on instead of guessing and kind of bouncing from rerun to rerun, although I think USA has been playing them mostly in order from the beginning lately. It’ll take me a while to go through all four seasons and part of the current fifth, but oh well. I can’t watch tonight’s episode anyway because of work. Which also means I miss Agents of SHIELD, but I’ve been watching it online later in the week.

  • Amber K October 22, 2013, 7:05 pm

    I get that acupuncture is so awesome, but the needles still totally freak me out. It’d probably help me out a lot, but I just can’t get over the needles!

  • Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) October 22, 2013, 7:06 pm

    I’ve never had acupuncture … not sure if I would.

  • Ali October 22, 2013, 8:32 pm

    I got acupuncture and cupping regularly while living in South Korea as treatment for my migraines ($4/session with national health insurance; $20-25/session with no insurance). It was amazing! I’ve been back in the States since March and haven’t been able to find someone who does acupuncture and cupping (and has the education level I want) that is affordable. My insurance doesn’t cover non-traditional treatments but since starting Imitrex for migraines, the intensity of them has gotten MUCH worse.

    I wish I could find a place here…

  • Mish @eatingjourney October 22, 2013, 9:43 pm

    I love acupuncture and swear by it, it helped my IBS and my depression. Have you ever just started bawling in it? Find that it releases primal emotional stuff and I have sobbed for 20-30 minutes at a time when they’ve hit the right spot.

    • Amanda October 23, 2013, 12:46 pm

      Wow! Yes. I have felt intense emotional stuff after treatments before. It can draw out very RAW emotions! Glad to hear it’s happened to someone else before too. We must have good practitioners 🙂

  • Sarah October 22, 2013, 10:29 pm

    The Walking Dead is like a zombie soap opera, but I still can’t watch it. Way too scary. Reading “The Whole Enchilada” by Diane Mott Davidson- murder mystery where a caterer saves the day!

  • Kathy October 22, 2013, 10:53 pm

    I love the checklist, really makes you think about it practically and holistically. I have had acupuncture but I seem to be super sensitive to it and it often makes me feel dizzy and nauseas and like I’m going to pass out while laying down, not a good feeling. I have a friend who got it for back spasms and once all the needles were in, she sneezed…nearly jumped out of her skin!

    I am not reading anything because I am currently OBSESSED with candy crush…why is blowing up candy so much fun??

  • Runner Girl Eats October 23, 2013, 6:32 am

    I’ve been watching Scandal on Netflix and I am obsessed. So good! Never had acupuncture but find it really interesting.

  • Sharon@DiscoverExploreLearn October 23, 2013, 9:04 am

    Can I just say I’m completely jealous that you have the option of acupuncture in the comfort of your home. You are a lucky lady !! 🙂

  • Amanda October 23, 2013, 9:29 am

    I got acupuncture for years, and continued throughout pregnancy. My son is now 16.5 months old. I trust my chiropractor/practitioner with my life! I am not watching much of anything, once my kiddo goes to bed, it’s a mad dash at cleaning the house, laundry and getting showered for work the next day. The life of a work away from home mom. But I do have a few minutes to read a bit of “The Longevity Project” right now before I sleep. I would like to read a “for fun” book next though, like Beautiful Ruins or Where’d You Go Burnadette.

  • Jessica R @ From the Kitchen to the Road October 23, 2013, 9:45 am

    I’ve never had acupuncture. I am into other alternative forms of health and wellness so it is something I would be willing to try.

  • Ali October 23, 2013, 2:11 pm

    The third book in the Divergent trilogy came out yesterday so I immediately put down the book I was reading and am now pretty far into Allegiant. 🙂

  • Emily at Transitional Objects October 23, 2013, 2:27 pm

    I *love* acupuncture, and I visit a community acupuncture group (i.e., “affordable”) in Nashville. It’s made such a difference in my anxiety, depression, and muscle tension. How fortunate you are to have a practitioner and needles on hand at any time!

  • Ali October 23, 2013, 5:09 pm

    I am an acupuncturist and love that you’re husband is too!! I’ve been having lower back pain lately too and I really really wish I had someone that could give me acu at home. You’re a lucky woman! Does your lower back just hurt from the stress of training?

  • Cortney October 24, 2013, 10:29 am

    I just wanted to say good luck at your race!! I know you’ll kick butt 🙂 Have an awesome weekend!

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