Morning! How goes it?  The heat wave in Charlotte continues (we reached 99 degrees yesterday) and it feels like I spend my days running from one air conditioned space to another. Can’t stay outside too long!

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In fact, I didn’t even try to go outside for my swim.  I did 1250 yards in the indoor pool and was thankful that my back wasn’t being roasted.  I’ve been really good about sunscreen this summer but my skin is still getting so tan.  The older I get, the more concerned I am with the effects of sun damage, but it’s so hard to not end up red with all my outdoor workouts.  I need to buy an adult-sized rashguard like my kiddies wear to the pool!


Speaking of workouts…

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While I was swimming laps yesterday, I was thinking about training for this Olympic triathlon.  It’s in a month and a half or so, and I already know that no matter what I do between now and then, I’m going to be undertrained.  I’m trying reeeeeally hard to make it up, but I keep running into scheduling issues. 


I work part-time, run the house, and take care of two littles all day – it’s harder than you’d think for me to find a solid hour or hour and a half each day to dedicate to training.  Heck, it was occasionally challenging to find the time before I had children, so I’m not sure why I find this time crunch surprising now.  Perhaps if Claire was older, it would be easier, but I struggle to coordinate long workout sessions with her naps.  I also experience bad Mom Guilt (which I am normally great at avoiding) if I put Henry in gym childcare after he’s already spent half the day at camp… Ugh. 


I really, really believe in parents finding time for themselves, even when their kids are young, but the bottom line is that, I can’t find ENOUGH “me time” to really make this training work.  It’s such a time suck, and there’s a million other things that I have to do.  One of the things that I normally love about triathlons is splitting my workouts between the three sports, but that aspects of training is killing me this time around – especially when it comes to cycling outdoors, which feels impossible to coordinate with the kids and my husband’s work schedule.


I know that Claire is still so young (and, truthfully, I’m still sooooo tired).  I did similar length races when Henry was a baby, but with two children – it feels really impossible for me! I really love sprints, and part of me thinks that I should’ve stuck with that length this summer!  Live and learn, right? 


Anyway, I hope I can survive the upcoming Olympic.  I’m not willing to back out.  There isn’t a shorter distance that I can drop down to, and it’s part of a fun girlfriend getaway for me and training buddy Brandi.  But I suspect the actual race won’t be pretty, which is a little disappointing, as I had it in my head that I was going to try to beat my course record from 2011.  Guess I’ll just have to do what I can until then and pray really, really hard on race morning that it all comes together!


Speaking of races, I finally updated my Race Recap page. 63 recaps – that’s a lot of races!


If you’re time-crunched and race, what’s the longest distance you can comfortably make room in your schedule for?  Have you ever committed to a race and really struggled to find the time to train?  I felt a similar way when I did my Half Ironman before Henry turned one, and I’ve long said that I won’t do another 70.3 until my kids are teenagers (if ever!).



  • kate June 17, 2015, 7:10 am

    you’d be VERY surprised how your body will respond to all the bootcamp training and how it will transfer over to tris! Although I know from experience (i was a rower for seven years) that training solely for “you’re sport” will make you better at that (at least for me it made me better mentally), things like bootcamp and crossfit will absolutely help! I ran a marathon, and while I trained, I was Crossfitting at least five times a week (I was new to it and was Crossfit crazy..I can’t do anything over 5 days anymore!). I did MAYBE five long runs (16, 17, 18, 20, 22, 22 miles) AND beat my goal time of 4:20 (ran a 4:19 haha one minute, but still!) Trust your training!!

  • Jill June 17, 2015, 7:39 am

    That really sucks 🙁 It’s so frustrating when you can’t get schedules to mesh. My husband and I both do triathlon, and we work really hard to organize our lives in such a way that we both have lots of family time and lots of time to train. Our 7 year old has private swim lessons while my husband does a workout in the pool (our YMCA is pretty awesome in offering both at the same time in what is quite a tiny pool!), and I keep our 2 year old busy during this time, and then hand the kiddos off so I can get my second workout in while they head home. I think we’re lucky because one kid is in school and the other is in daycare, so both of us can fit in some of our workouts during the work-day, but we also do a lot of early morning training, and weekend workouts. Happily, the 7 year old loves to run and he can keep up to me on short distances (5k), so we can do some training together (he’s a great runner and has done some triathlons too). It takes a lot of work, and balance, and understanding, but it works for us.

    Good luck! I know you could step out your front door this morning and complete an Olympic distance if you had to, just maybe not with the finishing time you’d like. Try to enjoy it anyway 🙂

  • Joanna June 17, 2015, 7:40 am

    Don’t sell yourself short!! You are doing so much especially with the strength training and really with kids, its all about quality and not so much as quantity. I am only training for one sport right now (running) but i am faster than i was before baby! I only have one kid and I am running less than i ran before kids but I am really making my workouts count now and getting in the good workouts that I need to! Keep on pushing and I think if you stay positive and do your workouts you may surprise yourself!!

    • Caitlin June 17, 2015, 8:13 am

      Thank you!!! I have gotten in quality workouts so maybe I’ll be okay.

  • Grace June 17, 2015, 8:18 am

    I work 40+ hours a week, my husband works 60+, we have rotating/shift schedules and no childcare except for an exceptionally generous grandmother whose resources we don’t want to tax. 😉 I can’t say how jealous I am that you have gym childcare – we don’t, and I can’t even picture the luxury of just being able to drop off your kids and workout in the middle of the day! That is such a pipe dream for working moms!
    What I do while training for tris: workout daily on my lunch break at work and eat my lunch later at my desk. I can only get in a 35 min workout and have to pack my lunch or else I go hungry, but every little bit helps. I bike to and from work and that helps a lot, biking daily even though it’s less than 5 miles total. That is my default workout routine when I’m not in training, sometimes with a weekend long workout if my husband isn’t working both Saturday and Sunday (this only happens once a month). During training season, I do the above plus 2-3 super early am workouts – up at 4:30, and back home before 6:30 before my daughter wakes up. My husband is only home in the mornings 2-3 times a week (he’s a firefighter that is gone days at a time, and because he rarely gets to sleep at the firestation we prioritize his sleep the most). I also try to get in a long weekend workout every other weekend, although it cuts into my precious time with my daughter and luckily I only do it a few months out of the year. I also do strength training at home in the evening once my daughter is in bed twice a week. I love tris, and one day I would love to tackle something longer than an Oly length tri, but I can’t justify it when my daughter is so young and I get so little time with her already. It’s a tough balancing act!

  • Emily June 17, 2015, 8:21 am

    There are some really cute adult rash guards!! I have been wanting one and may go for it when we are in Hilton Head for a week because I know I will be outside ALL DAY! Check these out:

  • Chrissy June 17, 2015, 8:26 am

    To be honest, no, I have actually found it easier to train for long races since I have had children. Before children, I had lots more free time, so I ended up doing a lot of junk miles, or just messing around with workouts. Now, with two children (3 and 18 months) and a full time job, I have hit 4 half marathon PR’s and one marathon PR. When I have time to workout, I have to make them COUNT. You can do this!!

    • Grace June 17, 2015, 9:30 am

      I find this to be true, too! I used to bitch and whine about getting up before 5 am to workout, and now I LOVE it because it’s the only “free” time to myself that I get. I am a million times more motivated and determined post-baby… I’m able to do so much more with a lot less (less sleep, time, resources, etc). I realize now just how lazy I used to be! I shake my head when I think of the weekends I spent watching Netflix marathons or just goofing off on the Internet for hours on end… what a waste!

    • Kayla June 17, 2015, 10:01 am

      So true! I feel the same, that since I’ve had my twins I am in better shape, and I think it’s because when I work out, I go out and do it, and do it hard; time is limited and excuses have no place in the routine. I hit a 25-minute marathon PR last month because I am in much, much better shape and trained much smarter than I had 3 years ago.

  • Victoria June 17, 2015, 8:45 am

    I’m often short on time and my biggest tip for getting your training in is to cut the outdoor rides to a minimum. Ride the trainer and use structured workouts (like through TrainerRoad) to make efficient use of your time. A 45-60 minute indoor workout, if well planned, can get you far more fitness improvement than an ambling 2 hour outdoor ride that takes up 3 hours of time with setup, etc. You can do these while your kids are playing at home, and you can do them often. In fact, cycling fitness translates to running fitness quite well, so if you hit up the trainer 4x/week, slightly reduced run volume may not affect you as much.

  • jessie June 17, 2015, 8:52 am

    My son just turned 2 in May and I am currently training for Ironman Lake Placid which is only 39 days away, eek! My trick is getting up really early to fit in my exercise, I mean before sunlight early (3:45AM for run mornings). I also have a one hour commute for work (one way) so the only time I can get the majority of my workouts in is in those wee hours.
    I also have a very supportive husband who allows me one night a week for a brick workout and one weekend day is devoted to my long rides. We often arrange my long rides to coincide with meeting at a park or beach so I get to play with them as well and don’t miss out on all the fun.
    And lastly we are part of a great triathlon club and have weekly open water swims where my husband and I can both get a swim in while taking turns watching our son who is busy playing on the beach.
    It’s definitely very difficult and I don’t know that I would ever be able to do the same type of training that I am now if I had 2 children, but it’s working for the time being. I trained for a half ironman after my son turned 1 and I had a much harder time getting myself motivated for the workouts. I was under trained going into it and felt the effects on the run. Something clicked a few months later and I got in a groove.

    You’ll find that groove, but perhaps you just need more time. Keep being awesome, you are an inspiration!

  • Erin June 17, 2015, 9:04 am

    First off, I think you are going to do better than you think.

    Second, I feel you on the time crunch. I work full time out of the house and have two littles almost exactly Claire and Henry’s age. I am finding it hard to scrape together three 30 minute workouts a week. I would love to train for a half marathon, but I know there just isn’t enough time. It stinks. But my parenting motto has ALWAYS been; this is a phase (seriously, it appliers to almost everything I’ve dealt with as a parent).
    My babies won’t always need me this much, and the mommy guilt will eventually fade. Someday we will have time to train for events again, and it will just feel that much sweeter when we do!

  • Kristen June 17, 2015, 9:04 am

    A half marathon is the longest I train for.

    Honestly, I run at 4:30 in the morning. I get up at 4:20 every weekday (5:30 on weekends) and just get out there and run. By doing my exercising so early, I only have to get ready for the day once, it doesn’t take time away from the kids, and it is harder to make excuses.
    Between working full time, having a husband who tends to work late, and kids, early morning is the only time I have for me.

    • Anne June 18, 2015, 2:04 am

      But when do you sleep?!

  • Kathleen Ojo @ My Ojos June 17, 2015, 9:30 am

    I ran a marathon last fall, while working full time, completing my last semester of grad school, and still being a mom for my daughter.

    How did I do it? I’m not sure. My daughter was sleeping through the night, I was waking up reeeeeally early for runs, and my house was a straight up disaster most of the time. My husband was working part time back then too, which allowed me to run long in the mornings without having to rush home.

    I’m considering training for another marathon, but with my husband working full-time now (with a 3-hour round trip commute, oi), I’m not sure it will work. I’m still getting in 25 miles per week and three days of weight training though…. so…. anything’s possible! Here’s my schedule these days (not training for anything) if anyone’s curious.

    M: Weight session during lunch (we have a small gym at work)
    Tu: Up at 4:45am, run 3 miles. Off work at 4:30, change in bathroom, run 3 mile loop, then pick up my daughter from daycare.
    W: Weight session during lunch
    Th: Up at 4:45am, run 3 miles. Off work at 4:30pm, change in bathroom, run 3 mile loop
    F: 3-5 morning miles, depending on husband’s schedule (he alternates days off).
    S: Rest
    Su: 10-12 mile long run (usually head out around 6:30am, but now that it’s heating up, I’ll have to push it earlier).

  • Katie June 17, 2015, 9:32 am

    My triathlon group says that if you can only do one workout, do it in the sport that is your weakest. For me that is definitely swimming. When I’m easing into workouts, I stick with what I enjoy, which is 10ish mile bike rides, and 3 ish mile runs.

  • Dottie (@crazyfitmommy) June 17, 2015, 9:44 am

    I feel your pain! I have an almost 2 year old and a 3 month old, and I feel like I never have enough time to workout. It makes me wonder how I ever had time to train for an Ironman when I can barely find time to train for a 5k now. I really think you’ll be OK though — the amount of crossfit you do will help more than you realize even though it’s not sport specific. 🙂

  • Brittney June 17, 2015, 9:53 am

    I’m amazed at how much training and working out you do get in with two kids! I miss racing and training, but can’t commit to it with my schedule since having a baby, working full time, and with a traveling husband. I finally found a decent balance in the last 9 months or so where I work out at the end of my work day a couple times a week. It’s not ideal, but it’s what works right now and at least it’s something. I feel ya though, it’s a struggle!

  • Kayla June 17, 2015, 9:57 am

    Good luck! I’m sure you will do wonderfully, undertrained or not; just try to have fun with your friend.

    I’m a mostly stay-at-home mom (with a part-time job) to twin girls, who will be 2 in August. I trained for a marathon from January through May, and I just restarted training for another one, which is in October. The keys for me were: run only 3 days a week (usually over the girls’ midday nap), do one class at the gym, where the girls could go to childcare for an hour, do yoga at home after the girls were in bed for the night, and to have a very, very supportive husband.

    I followed my training almost to a tee, except for being sick and skipping a few workouts about midway through the cycle. My daughters are good about being in the jogging stroller, so my husband would send me off to do 10+ miles on my own, then he and the girls would join me for the balance of my long runs.

    I did experience some guilt throughout, and I recently was hit with it again, but not so much in regard to the girls, but more so in regard to my family as a whole. My husband has been training to hit a big PR for a local 5K (He wants to run a very challenging, hilly course in 20 minutes), and he mentioned the other day how he wondered how he would get out for a few solo runs before the race if I was now training for another marathon. Talk about a punch to the gut! I told him we would make time, because we made time for me for 5 months.

    I sometimes feel bad about “always running” instead of spending time with my husband or playing outside with the girls…but the fact of the matter is, I am a better, happier, more patient parent if I have that time to myself. It would not be possible, though, if my husband was not supportive. Because it means he picks up some of the slack, and he already does a lot in addition to his demanding second-shift job.

    So, my advice: Do the best you can with what you have. If it means putting the kids in child care for a little longer, it’s fine because it likely will mean you feeling better, happier, calmer after your workout. If it means getting up earlier, and your husband being “on” while you’re away, it’s fine because he can handle it. Also, do not be afraid to employ the help of family and friends. My mom came to visit a few times during marathon training, and she would just hang out and play with the girls while I or my husband and I ran on a Saturday morning; it was great because it meant she got uncompromised Oma time with her girls.

    You got this!

  • kristin | W [H] A T C H June 17, 2015, 10:36 am

    for me it’s all about setting and adjusting expectations. i travel internationally quite a lot for work, often with short notice and to places where there are no hotel gyms or safe places for me to run. my career is a priority right now and because of life commitments, i’m willing to adjust expectations for races and PRs. that doesn’t mean i can’t train and race, it just means that i have to be flexible and adjust along the way.

  • Amanda June 17, 2015, 10:45 am

    I second what Kate said- I think you’ll be surprised at how much your boot camp training helps you!

  • Katalina @ Peas and Peonies June 17, 2015, 11:09 am

    You are definitely my hero for being so active while caring for a toddler and that little lady 🙂 I think cross training is really important when you don’t have much time, as cross training makes you stronger and increases your endurance.

  • Stacy E June 17, 2015, 11:33 am

    Caitlyn! I wish you’d go easier on yourself! My mom raised us mostly by herself. In the summers, we often spent full days at camps or with babysitters or at sleep away camp. We never felt neglected, and we love her to pieces. It’s all about making the time you do have count. If you tell your kids you love them and if you are truly there for them no matter what, that is everything. Henry probably had a blast at camp and in gym daycare…he is learning to socialize and develop a life outside of his family. That’s great! So seriously, stop with the Mom guilt.

    • Caitlin June 17, 2015, 11:36 am

      thanks pal 🙂 🙂

      • Sara June 17, 2015, 4:39 pm

        Agreed. My parents worked full-time. I spent all day, all during the week at childcare and I loved it (and love my parents)! Henry probably enjoys it! I work full-time (I put in extra time so I can leave at noon on Friday to spend with my two-year-old). I really struggle with fitting in “me time” and spending time with my son. I want to read and exercise and use my lunch break to do these tasks, but I often have to run errands so I don’t have to do them after work or on the weekend as much (so we can have more quality family time). It’s so hard to balance all that mothers have to do in a day and find time for the rest! But I want to be healthy too. It’s all a big balancing act. But seriously, your kids are fine 🙂

  • Katie @ Operation Happier June 17, 2015, 2:12 pm

    I am nervous about this since I’m expecting my first baby this summer. I *really* enjoy my hour of working out every day. It’s my “me” time. I am not sure how things are going to go post-baby…

    I do have to say that I’m SO jealous your gym has childcare! I live in San Francisco, and I’ve found ONE gym (a YMCA waaaaay across town from where we live/work) that has childcare, plus one yoga/pilates/spin studio that has childcare ($6 per class additional). My husband and I are planning to trade off watching the baby while the other works out, but that sounds so depressing, not getting to see him nearly as much in the evenings since we couldn’t work out simultaneously.

    I’d LOVE to hear any suggestions from parents out there!!

    • Sara June 17, 2015, 4:40 pm

      My husband and I belonged to a gym pre-baby and we dropped our membership post-baby because it was too expensive with a baby, plus we’d have to split it up (like you just described) and didn’t want to. So now I cram in what I can while I’m at work and we have the T25 discs we need to get to doing when our son goes to bed (or before he wakes up in the morning)! It’s so hard to balance it all. I hope you figure it out 🙂

    • Amy June 17, 2015, 7:55 pm

      Do you guys run? Jogging stroller! 🙂

  • Kim June 17, 2015, 2:30 pm

    Thank you so much Caitlyn for posting this. Seriously I love your life posts the best that don’t paint a picture of “everything is wonderful”. For mothers who wear so many hats, it’s a huge struggle to find time. I think you are amazing and I have so much respect for all that you do ! I hate when healthy living bloggers who have one kid, who is in preschool, blog about how they go to the gym 5 days a week, relax at the pool and act like its difficult. That is not real life, I’m sorry but it’s not. For most moms it’s a major balancing act. I have two kids 14 months apart and I love how relatable and real you are! Keep up the great work….you are so inspiring!!!

  • Julie June 17, 2015, 5:12 pm

    A part of me thinks I’ll never run a long race again! However, I’m sure it will all come. My kiddo is 7 months and starting to sleep a little better so I may someday do early morning workouts. But with my full time job and commute and wanting to spend my evenings with my family, all I have is lunch and the 35-minute workouts that another commenter mentioned.

  • Amy June 17, 2015, 7:53 pm

    Hi Caitlin,

    I have two kids who are each two months older than Henry and Claire (April ’12 and October ’14). When I had one child I found I had plenty of time to fit in workouts, but now that I have a 3 year old and an 8 month old, that’s all changed, and training for fitness events isn’t a priority for me right now. For one thing, I am tired. I actually think sleep and rest in general is really underrated in “our” general population (meaning youngish moms who are used to being active). But the truth is, between breastfeeding and all-day childcare, my body is taxed, and I’m not going to tax it further by imposing some arbitrary standard of fitness level just because I feel like I should, or even because I might want to. Second, these years are so short. So while Mom Guilt might not be appropriate, I don’t think you’re wrong AT ALL for wanting to spend time with Henry when he’s not in preschool, or for prioritizing it over exercise!

    I just think that in the grand scheme of things, spending all this time and energy on training for races *when there is so much else going on* can be counterproductive. I found my priorities changed a lot when I had my son, and even more once I had my daughter. I miss working out daily (I miss it a lot!) but I know that eventually I’ll have the time and energy to devote to it again. This is an intense season of mothering. Don’t discount that, and don’t be afraid to let training go by the wayside a bit so you can take care of yourself and your family in other, maybe even more important, ways.

    • Caitlin June 17, 2015, 7:57 pm

      thank you for this wonderful comment!

  • Amanda K. June 19, 2015, 2:46 pm

    so interesting, and it’s helpful to read everyone else’s comments.
    i never understood why ppl stopped exercising when they had kids. i thought they must be wimps 🙂
    now i know better! my husband, who ran a 3:17 marathon when my first baby was 3 mos old, just yesterday said, “i can’t imagine when i’ll be able to exercise again!”
    we just had our third baby 🙂

    i feel the same way, except that my baby is only 4 wks old so i’m not even really thinking about it for 2 more weeks.

    one thing we did learn — when my 2nd baby was only 4 months old we both trained for and raced a 1/2 marathon. it was just too much, and too hard for our family for both of us to be dedicating so much time to training. we’ll alternate from now on…if we ever exercise again 😉

    i agree, two kids is an exponential growth. i’m impressed that you’ve been exercising so much!!

  • Megan June 22, 2015, 11:14 pm

    I ran my first half marathon when my son was 2.5. From that moment on I knew I wanted to do a full marathon. However, life has not given me the time for that yet! I’ve continued to do several half marathons over the past 7.5 yrs while going through nursing school and working part time and being a wife and mom, then working full time nights, then having another baby.. Well that “another baby” is starting kindergarten in August so I’m finally going to have some extra time! I’m pumped for a fall marathon!!

    Good luck at your race and I think you’ll do better than you expect!

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