Out of Sync

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Triathlon problems—> I feel like the universe is working against me this week, at least when it comes to fitting in my workouts.  The biggest problem has been kiddo sleep and, actually, as I write this post at the ass crack of dawn, I keep interrupting myself to silently walk Henry back into his bedroom.  Regardless of the time I’ve put him to bed, he’s been waking up paiiiiinfully early.


So early, in fact, that “before the kids wakeup” workouts have been impossible to coordinate, as has anything besides “run downstairs and slam coffee ASAP.”  And so early that he falls apart by 4 PM, which is when the gym childcare re-opens for the evening.  He was so exhausted yesterday afternoon that I couldn’t convince him to leave the house or even sit in the stroller for a jog!   


I felt bad for him, but I felt worse for me.  Hah.  I actually tried, “Henry, I have to swim 1500 meters, bike 28 miles, and run a 10K in two weeks – work with me, pal!”  No dice.  Kiddos come first, but seriously – this is killing me.  I do believe that I have a decent enough strength and endurance base to pull this race out of me come August 9 but… it might be ugly.  Really ugly.


The weather has been working against me, too – a huge rainstorm that closed the pool RIGHT when I was about to leave to swim laps.  Hmmph.


And, of course, painfully early wakeups mean that I’m pretty bleary-eyed and mostly surviving on an intake of dark-brewed coffee.  I know what I need to do – ride out Henry’s weird sleep fluctuation by going to bed early myself and doing my workouts at the extreme crack ass of dawn, but… I just can’t pull myself together for it. 


I did manage to do one really short run this week.  It was 2.2 miles, but I did speedwork at the same time.  This was a big scheduling feat, so I was pretty proud. 


And although I haven’t had time to pound the pavement, I did make a big decision for my triathlon – I’m going to wear a wetsuit in the swim!  I have only worn a wetsuit during one other race, and I usually shun the idea of a wetsuit, so this is a big deal for me.


I decided to wear one because I think I’ll appreciate the added buoyancy during the race – I’ve heard wetsuits can cut time by about 10% or so.  


And last, but not least, I have scheduled a big workout for Saturday morning.  I’m doing an open water swim followed by a bike, and I’m aiming for 1500 meters (race distance) and about 15 miles or so.  Getting it on the calendar has been a bit of a challenge, but I know I need open water experience before this event, and… heck… I know I won’t have any trouble whatsoever waking up early to make the event.  Henry will be pounding on my door at 5:15! 


What part of your life makes it hard to get to the gym?  Kids, work, school?  What solutions do you have?  For a few weeks there, writing my workouts down in my calendar was really helping me coordinate gym time with kids and work.  I need to get my family back into a decent rhythm STAT!



  • Adrienne July 30, 2015, 9:48 am

    You’ve been cranking out killer workouts the past couple of weeks, just remember that!! Next week is taper anyways.

    P.S. I just told a multi-Ironman about the vaseline trick and it blew his mind, lol.

  • Natalie @ The Ravenous Mommy July 30, 2015, 10:24 am

    I feel ya! I’m lucky to have found a gym with good childcare too, but sometimes my son has a freak out when we try to go in the afternoon. I’ve been trying lately to just go in the mornings when he is in a better mood for the gym. and I have to admit… I sometimes bribe him with a “fruit snack” (annies organic fruit chews), so he will get in the car.

    • Caitlin July 30, 2015, 10:41 am

      haha I bribe with fruit snacks too!

  • Kendra S. July 30, 2015, 10:30 am

    You are gonna kick the triathlons ass!! Think of all the good training sessions and workouts you’ve had outside of this week. You are one of the most driven and committed people I’ve ever seen and despite any set-backs, you’re still going to do amazing. You already have what it takes! 🙂

    Kids and work definitely make it hard for me to get to the gym. I work full-time outside the home so my mornings are hectic getting myself ready for work as well as helping my Hubs get the kids ready. Plus, after a long day at the office and a typically busy evening with a 4 and 2.5 year old, by 9pm I’m spent! I can’t bring myself to wake up any earlier than I already do and I’m not a huge fan of evening workouts, so… I workout on my lunch breaks! I’m very fortunate to have a gym in our office building and I utilize it at least 3-4 days a week. It is a life saver!

    • Caitlin July 30, 2015, 10:40 am

      thank you, friend. it I incredibly helpful to hear this.

  • Erica Sparky July 30, 2015, 10:41 am

    We were having major problems with our 3 yo son waking up really early, like 515. Whenever one of us would get out of bed to go run, eh would wake up and start asking to get out of bed. The solution is odd but has worked for us. We now eat dinner MUCH MUCH later. We were doing 6:00 and now we do almost 7:30. He gets a snack at day care around 430 and just wasn’t interested in 6:00 dinner, so now my hubby and i eat a snack when we get home from work to tide us over to 7;30 dinner time. I think he was waking up early because he was hungry. Maybe a bed time snack will help? We’ve also cut out his last cup of water or milk before bed because he was also waking up with super soaked pull-up that was leaking his bed.

    • Caitlin July 30, 2015, 11:08 am

      I may try that. We eat at 6 now, maybe I will do a big snack this afternoon and a late dinner! GOOD SUGGESTIONNNNNN! thanks, sweetie.

      • Erica Sparky July 30, 2015, 1:40 pm

        Good luck! We were hesitant to mess with feeding times (no one likes a hangry toddler) but this worked for us … for the time being 🙂

  • Amanda July 30, 2015, 10:54 am

    Ahh that has to be so frustrating, I can’t even imagine! Could you work out at night once he gets sleepy and Kristien is there to keep an eye on him? Or does that not work with Claire’s schedule?

  • Sagan July 30, 2015, 11:01 am

    Insomnia is probably my biggest challenge in getting to the gym! Crappy sleeps can make it so difficult to just pull yourself together the following day.

    Good luck in navigating through this time!! Maybe Henry will start sleeping in tomorrow? 🙂

  • Rachel Rose July 30, 2015, 11:08 am

    That’s just something that toddlers decide to do. Well, SOME toddlers— specifically both of my girls have done that. Our poor Fiona is waking up earlier and earlier…. while still going to bed later than she should. OH– the afternoons are painful. I have to use the treadmill when they do this. It helps that it’s crazy hot, so I don’t really mind being inside. Don’t worry– this too shall pass. Eventually. Or else, they will move out still waking up at 5am. 🙂

  • Laura July 30, 2015, 11:16 am

    My husband works 3am-9pm, 6 days a week, so my only time to workout is at 5:30am before the kiddos wake up. I’ve been sending them to bed a little late (9pm) to ensure they dont wake until im finished with my workout. Things will change come September when my 5yr old enters Kindergarten. Im not looking forward to that!

    • Caitlin July 30, 2015, 11:21 am

      Oh but going to kindergarten is such a big, fun step! Is she ready??

      • Laura July 30, 2015, 8:17 pm

        She’s SO ready and i know she’ll thrive. I on the other hand am not ready to let go.

    • Eda July 30, 2015, 3:14 pm

      Your hubby works 108 hours a week???!! That is absolutely insane! And I complain about how little I see my man due to our differing schedules — it must be nothing compared to what you are dealing with! I just had to comment on this. I am really impressed! Hope that is only a short term thing.

      Caitlin, you are doing great. A spotty training week or two, in the scheme of things, won’t be enough to take back the work you’ve done to get where you are!

      • Laura July 30, 2015, 8:22 pm

        He has a 3am-7am job, comes home for breakfast, goes to his full time carpentry job until 5pm and then he does side carpentry jobs at night. He’s trying to start his own construction business and this is the only way financially we can do it right now.

        • Eda July 31, 2015, 2:47 pm

          Seriously bowing down to you and your hubs… tough cookies busting your butts going after a dream. So cool to find inspiring people in the comments section!! Good luck!! 🙂

  • Erin @ Her Heartland Soul July 30, 2015, 11:33 am

    My brain makes it hard to get to the gym sometime! I need more mental strength.

    • Holly July 30, 2015, 11:45 am

      Sorry to hear Henry isn’t sleeping well/enough! When my daughter doesn’t sleep well I tend to think ‘poor me’ since I am tired, but I remind myself that she is also tired and needs my help to sleep better/longer.

      • Holly July 30, 2015, 11:47 am

        Sorry that was a general comment to Caitlin and not a reply…

  • Bobbie July 30, 2015, 12:06 pm

    My children always did the early waking or middle of the night waking when they were about to hit a milestone. It usually passes quickly and they master something new. Hope it’s just a fleeting thing for you and Henry. Also, I would keep putting him back in bed like you said you were doing in hopes he’ll get tired of it and fall back to sleep.

  • Emily July 30, 2015, 12:16 pm

    I hear ya, it’s the weather that’s been killing me this summer. Unpredictable with rain and thundershowers forecast here and there. It helps I have great support from my husband but it’s a logistical puzzle daily – toss in a bit of family schedules and it’s like: if it rains tonight, my son’s ball will be cancelled so I will be able to fit in a swim unless it’s thunder, then I will have to do it tomorrow after work before my husband’s ball game if they come watch me at the beach beforehand (if it’s not raining again). Nevermind trying to stagger effort workouts so I have an easier one between. It’s go with the flow, and fit it in. Thankfully I’m training for sprints so the workouts are usually an hour or less!
    Enjoy your race! #YouGotThis

  • Jill Will Run July 30, 2015, 1:04 pm

    Kid and work make it hard. I’m supposed to start working at 7 AM and if I have a video meeting early morning and have to be presentable, then getting in an early morning workout becomes even harder. And then when you have a kiddo who gets out of bed too early, that derails the early morning even more.

    We’ve been using this “Teach Me Time” clock for the past 3 weeks pretty successfully, though. It turns green when it’s okay for her to get out of her bed. http://amzn.to/1SPdirK

  • Kim July 30, 2015, 1:12 pm

    Is Henry whiny and cranky throughout the day because of the lack of sleep?

    • Caitlin July 30, 2015, 1:56 pm

      Not through the day but by 4… It gets ugly. I’m trying to convince him to nap right now.

  • Katie July 30, 2015, 1:52 pm

    I’m struggling with my triathlon training too! Last week I was sick, so I had a reason to skip, but this week I’m at about 95% I was able to run yesterday, but attempted to bike this morning and my body wasn’t having it. My plan is to join the bike group on Tuesday morning and hopefully that will re-motivate me. A low key group workout can push me out of a funk.

    • Caitlin July 30, 2015, 1:55 pm

      I like this idea a lot! Good luck!!

  • Alexis H. July 30, 2015, 1:58 pm

    My first time commenting but I love your blog! I hear you on those early morning workouts, unfortunately they are the only time of day I can squeeze in a workout.
    Have you tried a “teach me time” alarm clock? We had the same issue with our almost three year old and it has worked wonders the past few months. You should check it out!
    Thanks so much for all of your inspirational healthy life-style posts, keep it up!

    • Jill July 31, 2015, 8:57 am

      Another vote for the “teach me time” alarm clock here! I think we have the simpler version by the same company, where the clock turns green at a set time. We have been using it since my son was about 2.5 and he is 4 now! It’s set for 6:30, but he wakes up more around 6-6:15 and reads books in his bed until it turns green. It’s great!

  • Tabatha July 30, 2015, 2:56 pm

    I know just how you feel! Kiddos definitely make getting to the gym harder…I can’t go in the evenings anymore because I work all day, so I do my best to get in lunch time workouts. This month has been super busy at work, though, so I’ve been struggling to squeeze the workouts in – can’t wait for things to slow down so I can get back in a better routine!

  • Jen in TX July 30, 2015, 5:01 pm

    You are absolutely right–kiddos come first. As a 40-something year old mother of teenagers now, I can tell you there will be plenty of time for working out and racing in your future. Please don’t stress about it now. They are only young once. I so miss those days of cuddling them and holding them close. I think back to all those days I missed out on it because I was so concerned with getting to the gym.

    • Caitlin July 30, 2015, 8:03 pm

      I know – I think about this all the time. I don’t want to do events that suck up so much time right now. I love racing but think I will stick to shorter running events for now!

  • Katherine July 30, 2015, 5:32 pm

    My son goes to bed at 7 and wakes at 5. I leave for the gym or for a run as soon as he goes to sleep and my husband stays and works out at home (or sometimes he goes to the gym and I workout at home to be fair).

  • Robyn July 31, 2015, 3:33 pm

    To answer your question….all of life makes it challenging. During weekdays I need to be in the shower by 5am to get ready and get my son up and dressed at 6am. Then, it’s getting breakfasts made and eaten so that we can be out the door by 6:45 to get to daycare for drop-off at 7am. I’m at work by 7:20, and leave at 4pm to get my son again at the end of the day by 4:15. Then, we get home to put a load of laundry in and make dinner, and get my son bathed and in his pajamas. He’s in bed by 7pm. And, theoretically that is a good time to get my workout in…either after or before I take the poor, neglected dog out for the last time before morning. (My husband is usually out of town from Monday afternoon until just after our son’s bedtime on Thursday.) But, by then, I’m gonna be real here…I’m tired and all I want to do is plop my butt down on the sofa to read or watch something on the tv. Obviously, either something’s got to give or, more realistically, I need to get my butt up by 3:15am (ugly!) to fit in workouts. Fun, eh? Wah, wah, complain, complain. Woh is me!

    • Caitlin July 31, 2015, 4:10 pm

      All i would want to do is lay down too!!

  • Jamie July 31, 2015, 5:26 pm


    I read your blog time to time as I prepare for my first Olympic tri. I did a sprint last year, with the swim being rather short (400m). I’m doing the swim in Lake Michigan and did a couple practice swims in it, and I felt like I was breathing really hard and struggling. I was nervous one of those days because the waves were higher than usual. Do you have any suggestions of calming down in open water? I read how you’ve overcome some panic attacks in the past. I’m wondering if I’m trying to swim too fast because of all the people around me.

    Also, I noticed you have aero bars on your road bike sometimes, but not other times… I have some but am debating on using them. I’m not sure how confident I will be on the aero bars and being away from my brakes with that many people around. Do you have a preference after all your triathlons?

    Thanks!! You’ve been really such an inspiration, and good luck on your next tri as well!

    • Caitlin August 1, 2015, 1:56 pm

      Hi there!

      I think a lot of it is about exposure. The more you do it, the less scared you feel. But I will say that I got pretty nervous before my last race so sometimes the fears can just creep back up on you. It helps me a lot if I try not to race the swim, stand near the back and the side and flip over to my back when I need a break. Get really good at sighting too. Sighting can throw off your stroke so feeling confident in that is important. Maybe I’ll write a post about this with some other thoughts?

      Regarding aero bars, I only took them off to ship my bike and then I somehow lost them during a move. I would love to still have aero bars! They are super comfy for long rides.

      Thanks so so so much for reading my blog. I really appreciate it. Good luck in your races!

  • Laurie August 2, 2015, 7:42 pm

    I know how you feel! I’m an attorney (work 50-60 hours/ week, blah!) and also have two kids (mine are a little older — 8 and 4) and I’m training for an Ironman. It’s super tough, but I just make do with super early morning workouts on the weekdays and weekends. Good luck with your race! Great decision on the wetsuit — the extra buoyancy will make a pretty big difference with the swim 🙂

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