Guess who ran his first half marathon today?!

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The Husband!  He has been training with me the entire time, but he didn’t want to officially proclaim his intent to run the race in case he’d jinx himself.  But I’m sure everyone saw this coming, as we ran all but one of our long runs together!  🙂


The BEST part of the race is that Kristien ran it with me. It was truly awesome that he trained and ran with me, as long distance running is definitely ‘my thing’ and not his.  But the second best part was…




I did NOT see this one coming. My training could’ve been better.  I did all my long runs, but I maxed out around 10 miles (and usually do more), and my weekday runs were more like 3 – 4 miles with the occasional 5 – 6er thrown in.  I have been crazy busy with work and felt pretty dehydrated and rundown yesterday.  Major yikes – I didn’t have any solid fuel on me for the race (totally slipped my mind!).  Basically, all my prep work was “how not to train for a successful race.”


Oh, and the elevation for the course looked like this:



As you can see, the last 2 mile was an uphill climb. I think the course’s constant, rolling hills was my biggest concern.


But, since Kristien was racing with me, I decided to make the most of it.  Race morning was just like all the others – food, coffee, lucky earrings.

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We hopped in the car and drove to Uptown Charlotte.  If you’re a local, I would HIGHLY recommend this race.  Sure, the course was challenging, but the location was great and parking was super easy.

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Ready… set… go!

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While we were running the first mile, Kristien asked me if he thought that I could set a PR.  I kind of chuckled and said, “Well, anything is possible!” But I didn’t think it was likely.  I’ve run a handful of halves and have only gotten under 2:00 hours ONCE. But as the miles ticked by, I felt better and better, and I could feel Kristien pulling me forward.  Side note: I asked Kristien if he wanted to run alone to see how fast he could go, but he said he’d rather stick with me.  It was sweet. <3


Before I knew it, we were passing the 10K marker at 55:28.  HOLY MOLY.  I reached out and grabbed Kristien and said, “I think if we hustle, we can definitely get under 2:00!”


So we ran as fast as we could.  I walked through the water stations and up most of the bigger hills.  Kristien was concerned that we were eating up too much time with the walking breaks, but I assured him that there’s a point where you are actually faster overall with walking breaks. Better to recharge than burn out, right?


Best race signs that we saw along the way:

funny race signs 3 funny race signs

funny race signs 2

Towards the end, I felt myself falling apart a bit.  I was tired and definitely started to get hungry – Powerade wasn’t cutting it. The last hill was a long, slow nightmare, but before I knew it, we were headed to the finish line.

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I immediately smiled because the clock time had us under 2:00, but I positively hollered when I checked my chip time online and realized that we had come in at 1:58:17, a 30-second record. A small improvement, but hey – I’ll take it!


If you’re wondering how Kristien felt about the race…  He said that he never felt tired in terms of cardiovascular fitness, but he did start to experience some aches and pains in his legs starting at Mile 6.  But overall, he felt good and could’ve gone even faster (and I agree – I felt like I was dying and he looked like he was on Cloud 9!).  He said it was much more fun to be IN the race than on the sidelines, and he’s more than open to doing another race.  Wahoo!


Considering my lackluster training, I have no one to thank but Kristien for motivating me to run so fast.  And it’s so nice to set a new PR!  I set my half marathon PR back in 2009.  Four and a half years and one bouncing baby boy later, I finally broke my record.


And now, I think I’ll take that race sign’s advice and drink my celebratory glass of wine!


Here’s the rest of my race recaps.


Anyone else kill it at a race this weekend?  Or has anyone ever set a best best by being pulling forward by a faster buddy?



  • Kathleen Ojo @ My Ojos March 8, 2014, 4:53 pm

    Amazing! Congratulations to you both! Gives me hope that I might be able to talk my husband into a race one of these days 😉

  • Andrea March 8, 2014, 4:56 pm

    Way to go!! That’s amazing. Aren’t “naturally speedy people” just the most frustrating though…I’m slow most of the time (10-12 min miles depending on how I feel), so sometimes I’ll train and train and train, and then go on a run with friends/family who “don’t really run” and they totally kick my butt in terms of speed/endurance. Some people (like Kristien) are just naturals, I guess!

    • Caitlin March 8, 2014, 5:08 pm

      LOL yes I totally agree!

  • Abi@AbsofSteel March 8, 2014, 5:01 pm

    Congrats!!! that’s so awesome! I have my first half in 3 weeks and I’m really hoping for a good time.

  • Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine March 8, 2014, 5:04 pm

    Congratulations on the new PR and congrats to Kristien! You guys are both so awesome 🙂 XOXO

  • Betsy March 8, 2014, 5:43 pm

    congrats on a great race!

  • Ashley M. [at] (never)homemaker March 8, 2014, 5:48 pm

    Great job again, Caitlin! That’s awesome news about your PR. I set an almost 40-second PR at a 4 mile race today, which was definitely unexpected because I’m training for the half (and the ground as been covered with snow/ice for literally three months) and I can’t believe my pace was so FAST!

    I must admit I’m super jealous that you can run with your husband. (That must be so cool.) Stephen’s pace at the race today (he won!) was 5:18/mile and mine was 7:18 — so two minutes between us means we’ll never likely run in an event together. Boooooo!

  • Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries March 8, 2014, 6:03 pm

    Woo hoo!!! Congratulations on your PR! And a huge congrats to Kristien on his first half!

  • Amber K March 8, 2014, 6:11 pm

    Congrats on the PR! And those “naturals” kill me. Then again running in general kills me, which is why I don’t do it. 😉

  • Jenn@Mark My Miles! March 8, 2014, 6:13 pm

    How exciting! Congrats!!!

  • Jacqueline March 8, 2014, 6:37 pm

    Wow! Awesome job! You must feel so amazing! I have my first half in two weeks! And I’ve been training in the same sneaks as you and I love them!! Hope your feets and your knees are feeling fine and you’re relaxing with your family enjoying some wine!!!

  • Kelly March 8, 2014, 7:41 pm

    Yay!! What a great team you two are! Congrats on the PR!

  • Luv What You Do March 8, 2014, 7:55 pm

    Congratulations to you and to Kristien on his first race!
    That is so exciting!

  • Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs March 8, 2014, 9:22 pm

    Congratulations, Caitlin & Kristien! 🙂

  • Foo March 8, 2014, 9:38 pm

    Congrats to you both! This made me smile… Way to go with your new PR Mama! Super inspiring.

  • Laura @ SneakersandSpatulas March 8, 2014, 9:56 pm

    No races for me but I completed my first brick of the season: 2 hour ride @16mph pace and 2 mile run!

  • Amy March 8, 2014, 10:53 pm

    YAY! How awesome!

  • Sharon March 8, 2014, 11:08 pm

    Congratulations – what a great post! And, a sweet hubby! 🙂

  • Sara @ LovingOnTheRun March 8, 2014, 11:53 pm

    Awesome job to you and Kristien! Congrats on the PR!!! That’s always awesome!

  • Tess March 9, 2014, 9:00 am

    Wahoo!!! That’s fantastic and SSOOOO SSWWEEEEETTTT of your husband to run with you because he wanted to!!!! Y’all make a great team!

  • Tia @Arkansas Runner Mom March 9, 2014, 9:19 am

    Congrats on a new PR! Even with that uphill finish! That course looks challenging!

  • Katie H. March 9, 2014, 9:25 am

    Congrats on your PR!! My hubby has only done one half-marathon, but I’m hoping that when I’m back post-baby, he’ll do one with me. I just haven’t asked him yet 😉

  • Joy March 9, 2014, 9:46 am

    Congratulations on a great race and a new PR! That’s fantastic to be able to race with your husband! And what a great photo of the three of you.

  • Stephanie @ Whole Health Dork March 9, 2014, 12:29 pm

    Congrats on the PR! That’s so sweet that your husband ran with you! What a great thing to be able to do together!

    No races here–still on the mend from plantar fasciitis and I’ve had a bit of a setback the past couple of weeks, mainly due to breaking in my new orthotics. I broke them in too quickly and am paying the consequences. 🙁 Hoping to run/walk a 5k next month that is sponsored by my work. Plus, I’ll be leading my work’s running group/Couch to 5k program, so I need to heal up quickly! PF is the worst.

  • emily March 9, 2014, 12:33 pm

    Good job, to both of you! You should be so proud of each other!

  • Barbie March 9, 2014, 2:24 pm

    I got my last 5k under 30 minutes by keeping a friend in sight just in front of me. I knew she was consistently just under 30 minutes.

  • Kelsey M. March 9, 2014, 3:00 pm

    Congrats!!! I PR’d my 10k yesterday by 2:40!!! Yay for PRs!!

  • Erica March 9, 2014, 7:32 pm

    CONGRATS!!!!! And congrats to the husband too!

  • Laura @ Mommy Run Fast March 9, 2014, 7:54 pm

    Yay!! Congrats on the new pr! I would love to run with my husband someday… he’s said he’ll train one of these years. Sounds so fun to run it together!

  • Hannah March 9, 2014, 10:55 pm

    Congrats on your PR! I love running with my husband. He is a little faster than me, so it always keeps me going. I set a >5 minute course record on a half marathon I had already run 4 times just because he stayed with me and kept encouraging me. I’m so competitive, so it’s great motivation!

  • Charlie March 10, 2014, 9:33 am

    I ran a half marathon with my boyfriend this weekend- his first half, and we squeaked in just under 2 hours! 1.59.36! Not a PR for me, but he was thrilled to finish under 2 hrs!

  • Reenie March 10, 2014, 10:47 am

    That’s awesome ~ congrats to you both!!

  • RunEatRepeat March 10, 2014, 3:03 pm

    That is awesome!! Congratulations!!

  • Megan (The Lyons' Share) March 11, 2014, 9:59 am

    CONGRATULATIONS!!! So exciting to set a PR even if you weren’t expecting it! Isn’t it frustrating (in a friendly way) that many guys seem to be able to knock out killer times on their first races and we’re slogging away race after race to get a PR? 🙂 Congrats to Kristien, too!

  • Adrianna March 16, 2014, 3:50 pm

    fantastic job and congrats to you both!!
    btw, I hope this doesn’t sound weird, but you two have the most adorable child in all the blog land 🙂

    • Caitlin March 17, 2014, 10:27 am

      thank you!!!

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