What’s Next?

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Now that the Half Ironman is over, a lot of people have been asking me:  “What’s next?”

miami half ironman

My immediate reaction is, “NOTHING! I want to do NOTHING!” and then I throw myself dramatically on the couch, grab the remote, and watch a marathon of Downton Abbey episodes.


Hah Hah. No. Really.  Over the past few days, I have wanted to do nothing.  October was a whirlwind month, personally and professionally, and I’m cherishing the peace and quiet of this week.  But now that I’m all healed up from the race, I’m thinking ahead (also, I finally am caught up on Downton Abbey and have nothing else to watch on Netflix – all I have to say about the Season 3 finale is NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO).




I loved running the race, and I had a really great experience.  I enjoyed training myself up to those distances and feeling so strong.  But training was a huge time commitment, and the race was a huge financial commitment, and I think one 70.3 is enough for me…for now (as in, for a couple of years).  A few of my fellow triathlete friends have said with a wink, “You’ve been bitten by the Ironman bug, haven’t you? Are you doing to do the full distance now?”  I just have to laugh! I cannot imagine running an entire Ironman (a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike, and a 26.2 mile run).  I bow down to anyone who can train for an Ironman, let alone actually complete one!  I don’t think an Ironman is ever in my future.


I’m excited to do more shorter triathlons once the season returns in the spring.  But for now… again… there’s no way that I’m training for anything big. I need a break!


But I do have some fitness goals.  I don’t plan to really veg out on the couch forever.  Some thoughts:


  • I’d love to maintain my swimming endurance.  Before this race, I would swim 1000 – 1500 yards for workouts, and at the end of training, I was doing 2000 – 3000.  I believe that swimming is the ultimate workout – it’s something you can do throughout your life, no matter what your age or life stage (heck, I was swimming laps two days before I delivered Henry!).  It’s gentle on my body and makes me feel good. So I’d like to keep up the longer distances.


  • Yoga!  I really want to do more yoga.  DadHTP, Kristien, and I have been talking about doing a ‘yoga challenge’ at the gym; we want to go to yoga 2 – 3 times a week, every week.


  • I’d also like to do some strength training. I’m thinking about checking out the kettlebells class at out gym. My gym also has a rip-off version of Crossfit.  I’ve peeked my head into the studio a few times and it looks pretty fun.  It’d be cool to do that once or twice a week for strength training.


So – that’s what’s next for me in terms of workouts.  A different (slower) pace.  Basically – a return to ‘normal people’ exercise!


But I’m really looking to free up some time because I’d love to work on my novel.  Remember that?  I got about 40 pages in and outlined the entire plot – my agent reviewed it and everything – and then I stopped.  That’s the third fiction book that I’ve started, gotten 30 – 50 pages in, and stopped in as many years!  I’d really like to finish one, even if nothing ever happens with it beyond putting it up on the blog for people to read.  I know I just need to make the time and mental space for it.  That’s the biggest challenge with writing!


If you recently finished training for an important race, what are you focusing on now?  Other workouts or another hobby?  


(Speaking of books, we’re going to do the book club for The Circle – stay tuned for a post about this on Friday!).



  • Erica { EricaDHouse.com } October 31, 2013, 9:02 am

    After my marathon next week I’m going to focus on tri’s for a while, and I’d love to get into some sort of boxing or martial arts!

  • Marisa October 31, 2013, 9:18 am

    Selfishly I was hoping you would say that you are going to start work on baby no 2 😉 But seriously you deserve a break, so enjoy!

  • Mary October 31, 2013, 9:19 am

    I finished my second HIM in August. I agree that training is a huge commitment, and it has taken up so much of my last two summers. Both my training partner friend and I plan to concentrate on short distance tri’s next year (it may be the year of the sprint!). For now, I am going to Crossfit and trying to increase my yoga too. I also can’t give up the swimming though, and still go 1-2 times per week. I like to keep up the longer pool workouts too. As for running and biking I may do those once a week, and I stick to a 1 hour spin (it is getting too cold to ride outdoors in Michigan) or a short 3 mile run. Yeah for the off season!

  • Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs October 31, 2013, 9:30 am

    Yay — book club! I’d better go buy The Circle and get started! 🙂

  • Sara @ LovingOnTheRun October 31, 2013, 9:45 am

    Right now I am focusing on getting better since being diagnosed with a femoral stress fracture. I focus on swimming and cross training until my leg is better which probably has another month or so – keeping fingers crossed I can run again soon!

  • Katie @ Talk Less, Say More October 31, 2013, 9:49 am

    Good for you for giving yourself the break you need! I ran my first 1/2 marathon in April, my second two weeks ago and have been running a race a month (of varying lengths) every month this year. It was my goal and it’s certainly been a fun one but it’s also made me push my body to stay in constant tip top running shape so after my last 1/2 I decided November and December races are going to be 5ks only despite wanting to run a little more.

  • Katie October 31, 2013, 10:13 am

    I keep telling myself that this fall is for CrossFit I still haven’t made it to the box (its an hour drive for me) but eventually I’ll make my way over there!

  • Sophie @ life's philosophie October 31, 2013, 10:54 am

    I just ran my first marathon and am I’m currently in the post-marathon laziness phase. When I start running again, I want to focus on speed and strength rather than just endurance. I also have a couple smaller races coming up which means there’s something to look forward to!

  • Whitney @ Pancakes and Tulips October 31, 2013, 11:20 am

    I try to stay away from too many fitness related goals because then I find that once I complete the task (race or challenge), I totally slack off and turn into a lazy blob. I’m trying now to keep my exercise consistent. However, I do think a yoga challenge will be fun! Or just practice without the challenge part of it. 🙂 I’m a huge yoga fan and I find that it helps keep my mind at ease.

  • Anna October 31, 2013, 11:27 am

    In terms of fitness, I’m trying to do block workouts–it’s a huge step up for me!

    I’m also doing NaNoWriMo and have a group of writers together, all hell-bent on finishing our novels! None of us have kids of course 🙂 but having a group is great! You should check out other writers in your area!

    • Shari November 1, 2013, 8:08 am

      I second this! Having a writing group is absolutely invaluable — and such fun! 🙂

  • Sara October 31, 2013, 11:29 am

    caitlin, I’m so happy to hear you had an awesome race sunday! Congratulations! It was increible to meet you before the start, good luck with everything!

    • Caitlin October 31, 2013, 11:50 am

      It was so nice to meet you too. How did you do???

  • Natalie @ Free Range Human October 31, 2013, 11:47 am

    Isn’t the season finale devastating? I still can’t believe it!

    • Caitlin October 31, 2013, 11:51 am

      i cried. it sucks.

      • Autumn October 31, 2013, 5:50 pm

        I had to google why they ended it that way. I was so upset. I needed to know. At least we will still be seeing more of him in movies. I can’t wait until season 4. I don’t have internet or TV so I just watch them on my laptop when it comes out on DVD. I have too long to wait.

    • Julie @ Peanut Butter Fingers October 31, 2013, 4:25 pm

      THE WORST!!!!!

  • Christy October 31, 2013, 12:15 pm

    Speaking of books…. Did you read Allegiant yet (Divergent Trilogy)?? It got horrible reviews, but I loved it.

    • Caitlin October 31, 2013, 12:23 pm

      YES! I liked the ending. I thought it was great.

      My only complaint is I had troubling telling about Tris / Four voices.

      • CM October 31, 2013, 12:39 pm

        Agreed! I wasn’t upset about The Big Thing everyone else was upset about, but I definitely thought the dual perspectives were very poorly done. Sometimes I would be halfway through a Four Chapter and realize I’d been reading it thinking it was a Tris Chapter. It just didn’t work. However, that didn’t stop me from devouring it in 24 hours and still enjoying it quite a bit. I feel terrible that fans have been so mean to Veronica Roth!

        • Caitlin October 31, 2013, 12:41 pm


          Well, Roth did break the cardinal rule of young adult novels. I’m not surprised everyone was so pissed. It’s funny to read the one star reviews. They are mostly like “OMG I HATE VERNOICA ROTH SO MUCH HOW COULD SHE DO THAT MEHHH ONE STAR TRUE LOVE.”


  • Christine @ BookishlyB October 31, 2013, 1:03 pm

    You should do NaNoWriMo to help jump start your novel. I did it last year, and while it may not be the most organic way to write, it sure is motivating (starts tomorrow). And I guess I’m training for chidbirth, technically. Whoa.

  • Aurora@Fitness is Sweet October 31, 2013, 1:04 pm

    I just finished my second half marathon, and the training went back to back with my first half marathon. I’m ready to focus on other things-I’m trying to improve my speed and PR on a 5k, and I’m getting Spin certified!

  • Jessica R @ FromtheKitchentotheRoad October 31, 2013, 1:39 pm

    I have been so focused on running only for the past 2 years. I recently dropped down my running to about 3 days per week and am adding some different exercise to my life. I am spinning, taking Body Pump, and Turbo Kick. It is great to change it up and work on the muscles that I have been neglecting.

  • Ali October 31, 2013, 2:28 pm

    Triathlons are like long nights drinking for me. I wake up the next day hungover and in pain and SWEAR I’m never going to race like that again, and then a few days or a few weeks later, I’ve forgotten all the pain, and I sign up for another one! You say now that you’re done with the Ironman half distance, but we’ll see… 🙂 I bet you might want another one!

  • Sarah October 31, 2013, 6:25 pm

    i highly recommend the nike training club app for workouts. you can do them at home (or at the gym). they walk you through these super intense workouts and it’s AMAZING. and free!

  • Taylor @ Single-tracked Mind October 31, 2013, 7:04 pm

    After my last marathon, I don’t think I ran for a month! You need that mental and physical break before you can get back into it.

  • kmarie October 31, 2013, 7:41 pm
  • laura leane October 31, 2013, 7:42 pm

    i know it’s just a cross-fit “knock-off”, but please be careful http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eric-robertson/crossfit-rhabdomyolysis_b_3977598.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular

    • heather November 1, 2013, 2:02 pm

      The article is unnecessarily inflammatory.While rhabdo might be a risk for some people with certain work outs in crossfit, the same could be said for any person that participates in intense exercise of any kind, including long distance running and triathlons. It is incredibly rare as the article states (0.06%) . The riskiest part of crossfit is probably driving to the box.
      Sure, there might be some coaches that push participants too hard, but that is hardly exclusive to crossfit.

      • Megan November 2, 2013, 11:14 am


  • Luv What You Do October 31, 2013, 11:07 pm

    I just did the marathon and my next big goal is definitely to improve my strength!!!

  • Nina November 1, 2013, 4:27 pm

    I ran the Berlin Marathon as my first marathon this year. After training for 18 weeks, and running while being injured for 4 weeks prior the marathon, I was happy to have a break! I haven’t run much in the past 4 weeks and I am happy to go back to the pool and on the bike again. I loved training for the race, but I also love to just work out for fun.

  • Megan November 2, 2013, 11:13 am

    I recently ran the Marine Corps Marathon. I totally get the “training is a huge time commitment” statement. It is! Now that I completed the marathon, which was also my first, I would like to do another one. I’m not really looking forward to the training but I know it comes with the territory. I gotta do it if I don’t want to get hurt.

    The only big races I have planned for the further is the MCM 2014. I also want to do the ING NYC Marathon next year.

  • Megan November 2, 2013, 11:16 am

    Oh yeah.. I just want to continue CrossFitting as well. 🙂

  • Anna {Herbivore Triathlete} November 2, 2013, 8:40 pm

    This winter I am focusing on strength training and running. Next spring I am going to be doing longer running races as well as Olympic distance triathlons. I know I need to improve my swimming as well, but am putting it off until January/February.

  • Michelle November 3, 2013, 1:26 am

    I think this is the perfect time of year to slow down and scale back! I’m right there myself, having just complete my first marathon a couple weeks ago. I’m focusing on nutrition and strength until after the new year and it’s time to start training for spring races.

  • Kim November 8, 2013, 4:11 pm

    You deserve a nice break from heavy training!

    After completing the Chicago Marathon, I’ve had a hard time getting back in the groove of things. I’ve got the Dallas Marathon on the books in exactly 1 month from today. I’m a bit nervous for this race because my mileage has totally dropped since Chicago, but I’ve had so many people reassure me that I will do just fine and all the extra rest will do me goo, despite my feelings of being unprepared!

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