There is No Secret to Getting Fit

My Journey to Fitness

My Race Bibs

The reason I named this page “My Race Bibs” is because I save all of my bibs.  I had never participated in any athletic events my entire life, so when I did my first event (at 38 years old), I was so excited about wearing that race bib!  Each bib has a story and I am proud (and still amazed) to have earned each one of them.  I still can’t believe this is my life.  Athletic, active, who is this person I have become? Not only did I willingly sign up for these events, I’ve looked forward to them and enjoyed every one of them.  The sense of accomplishment when I cross that finish line is so fulfilling.  It motivates me to keep going, continue to push myself, and set new goals.  I think anyone starting out on their fitness journey should sign up for an event to have as a goal.  Whether it’s a 5K, a mud run, something smaller, bigger or in between, it’s a huge motivator and feels incredible to accomplish your goal.

My athletic events are all listed below from the most recent to my very first events.  I’ll update this page as I participate in additional events.

Upcoming Events:

February 2015
DisneyWorld Princess 1/2 Marathon

 

Past Events:

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Survive the City Challenge
Charlottesville, VA
October 17, 2014
9 PM to Midnight

 

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Tough Mudder
Peacemaker Training Center, West Virginia
September 27, 2014

10.5 miles, 18 obstacles

 

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Pretty Muddy 5K Mud Run
Pocahontas State Park, Richmond, VA
September 20, 2014

DCIM100GOPRO

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Charlottesville Women’s 4 Miler
Charlottesville, VA
August 30, 2014

I ran this with my daughter.  It was her longest race.  She jogged and walked a bit too, but she finished!!  So PROUD of her!

IMG_5541

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For the Wounded 5K
Charlottesville, VA
June 7, 2014
Time:  44:18 (Carrying my son on my shoulders!)

My husband and I signed up for this run, but we were not able to get a sitter, so I ended up taking my 2 kids along for the run.  After about 1/4 mile of a slow jog, my almost 5 year old son decided he did not want to go any further.  I should mention, he has no problem walking miles and miles in an amusement park, but the 5K just wasn’t as exciting.  So I put him on my shoulders to give him a break, but then I realized I could go faster that way and the challenge was on.  I decided to try to finish the 5K with my 40-pound son on my shoulders, through hills and all!  I jogged all the flats and downhills and speed walked the uphills, all with him on my shoulders!  The best part… my daughter finished her first 5K too!  🙂

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VIA Run for Autism 5K
Charlottesville, VA
April 12, 2014
Time:  28:38  Pace: 9:06

DSC07171    DSC07156

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Charlottesville 10 Miler
Charlottesville, VA
March 29, 2014
Time: 1:45:51  Pace:  10:33

image

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Love Rox Half Marathon
Richmond, VA
February 23, 2014
Time: 2:12:07  Pace: 10:01

Love Rox half marathon 2_23_14

 

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Jingle Bell 5K Run for Arthritis
Crozet, VA
December 14, 2013
Time:  29:42

Jingle Bell Run 084

This was my second year running this fun run.  Who doesn’t love a run with a costume contest and everyone gets jingle bells for their shoes!  This run was also very special because our kids earned their first race bibs.  They participated in the 1 mile walk and the kid’s fun run.  My husband and I ran the 5K.

I had my gallbladder removed 1 week before this run, so I didn’t expect to feel up to my usual pace, but somehow, I managed to pull out a sub 30 minute time!  The course is mostly gravel and grass, and this year there was 1/4 inch of snow on the grassy and gravel areas.  The leader was 1:30 off his normal pace, and most runners were saying they weren’t running as fast as usual, so I was very pleased with my time.  Especially since I was just running for fun and hoping to finish under 40 minutes since I was only 1 week post-surgery.

Enough about me… the real “winners” of the day were my kids (and my husband and I as parents).  Our kids had a lot of fun and were very proud that they earned their first race bibs!  I also had a friend there that completed her very first 5K.  I was so excited and happy for her, and she rocked a totally adorable costume!  I was also so happy to have another friend and her husband do the run, saying that I motivated them to come out and do it.  So that made me feel great.  They also did awesome and had super adorable Mr. and Mrs. Claus shirts on.

Fun run, good cause, great friends and family.  Couldn’t ask for a better run!

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5K Turkey Trot
Millersville, PA
November 28, 2013
Time: 29:09 (PR)

TT2

Turkey Trot1

I ran this Turkey Trot in 2012. It was my very first 5K run. If you scroll down, you’ll see my picture from last year and my finishing time of 37:22. I was so excited to do this run again this year because it’s the very first run I can actually compare results with. I knew my time would be faster than last year, but I was excited to have hit a new 5K PR as well! Though I don’t run to win anything, and I really just aim to finish, it’s great to have that little competition with myself.

The course is a lot hillier than one would expect for Pennsylvania, and there are quite a few hills during the final mile. The weather this year was bitter cold and windy in the lower 20s, with wind chills of 18 degrees during the run! Last year, the hills and the cold air affected my asthma. This year, I had absolutely no asthmatic reaction to the cold air. This is far more exciting to me than the improvement of my time!

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Go Ruck Light
Charlottesville, VA
November 16, 2013

Caitlin

Though there was no race bib for this event, it was definitely more challenging than any of the adventure (obstacle/mud) runs I have done to date.

Read my event report here.

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Disney’s Wine & Dine 1/2 Marathon
Orlando, FL
November 9, 2013
Time:  2:23:24   (5K Split 31:26 / 10K Split 1:03:58 / 15K Split 1:38:03)

Disney Wine and Dine Half_Nov 2013

This was my first 1/2 marathon.  We flew down to FL on Friday morning and had some fun at Hollywood Studios.  The run was at 10 PM on Saturday.  We had a relaxing day at Downtown Disney Saturday morning, and we took an afternoon nap to prepare for the late run.  We arrived at the pre-run “party” around 8:00.  We took some pictures and tried to relax as much as we could.  Around 9:15 we headed over to our corral (Corral D).  We were slotted for a 10:06 start time, following the first 3 corrals.  Once again, I was thankful to be in one of the front corrals because the rear corrals (that did not require qualifying times) were packed full of people.  Post-race, I read comments about how difficult it was for people to pass other people and how long it took them to reach the first mile due to how crowded those corrals were.  Luckily, there was not really much crowding in the group I was with.  The only time we had a slight bottleneck (which was really just a minor slow down) was through Animal Kingdom, where the path narrowed.

The temperature was in the low 70s, but high humidity.  It wasn’t too bad to run in, but I did warm up quite quickly because of the humidity.  The route started at ESPN and went down the highway (a few overpass hills, but nothing bad) to Animal Kingdom.  As we entered, there was a beautiful lit tree out front.  There were plenty of people cheering us on as we looped through the park and back out towards the highway.  My taper week and rest day before the run, really had me feeling great.  My legs and hips weren’t stiff or sore at all.  By the 10K mark, I was on track with the pace I wanted to keep, and my body was still feeling good.  This is where the awesome part of my run ends and the trouble begins.  A little after the 7 mile mark, I started feeling what I thought were stomach cramps.  I will get them occasionally, but they usually pass within a few minutes or so.  Unfortunately, the pains got worse and I started to realize that I was having some gallbladder pains, not cramping.  By mile 10, the pain was radiating into my upper right back and my pace slowed down significantly.  I was able to maintain a jog and complete the run, smiling for the camera each time I saw one, but I was fighting through the pain to the end.  Once I crossed the finish line, I downed some Tylenol and we found a place to sit down to ease the pain.  I wasn’t up for the after party at Epcot, so once I could walk to the bus with a little less pain, we headed back to the resort.  Keep in mind, this was already after 1 AM by this point, so we were pretty tired anyway.  I was bummed that I couldn’t enjoy and celebrate my victory, and it certainly wasn’t how I wanted my first 1/2 marathon to play out, but I finished it.  I somehow still managed to make it into the top 21% of all female runners and top 25% overall (over 12,000 finishers).  I’m pretty proud of that and also happy I was able to at least maintain a fast jog through the end of the run.

Disney definitely knows how to put on a race.  The organization, volunteers, workers, medals, everything was top notch!  As I said, the run started at ESPN, went through Animal Kingdom, then we ran through Hollywood Studios, including the incredible light show display they have (a beautiful and welcome distraction!), then we ran through the resort area and ended in Epcot.  It’s awesome to have the crowd cheering you on and to hear your name called over the speaker system as you cross the finish line.

I’ll be happy when I have my gallbladder surgery so I can plan another 1/2 marathon and not have to worry about having those pains again.  I have my eye on the princess 1/2 marathon at some point, though it’s already sold out for 2014.  I’m sure another run that piques my interest will pop up sooner or later!

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Disney’s Tower of Terror 10 Miler
Orlando, FL
October 2013
Time:  1:52:52

DisneyTOT10Miler_October2013

This was sort of a “practice run” to prepare for the 1/2 marathon we are doing in November in Disney.  Like the 1/2 marathon, this run was at 10 PM.  It was hot and humid, with a high of 82 during the run, but at least there was no sun beating down on us.  My body was completely thrown off by running at night.  I am used to waking up and doing my runs first thing in the morning, so this was a very different experience.  At about the time I’m usually winding down for the evening, I was getting into my corral to start the run.  One piece of advice for anyone that plans to do a Disney run-  make sure you have a qualifying time to get you into a faster corral.  I was in corral C, right up near the front.  The “general” corrals for runners without qualifying times were PACKED full of people.  I was fortunate to have plenty of open space to run.  No one had issues passing people and there were never backups at the water tables.  I had a friend that ran in one of the general corrals and he was basically trapped in a sea of very casual runner/walkers with little opportunity to pass anyone.

The course was mostly flat, with a few overpasses in the first 3 miles or so.  I really wanted to maintain about a 10 minute pace throughout the run.  Unfortunately, my body had different ideas.  The time of day and the heat and humidity all got to me early on.  By the time I hit the 5K mark, I was running low on gas.  I had about a 10 minute pace for that first 5K, but quickly slowed down from there.  I found myself stopping at the water table, where I normally wouldn’t, but the heat had me feeling like I needed to hydrate.  There was one portion of the run that led through a wooded, gravel area.  The lighting was on the fritz, so most runners slowed to a walk for that 1/4 mile stretch for fear of rolling an ankle on a rock or uneven surface.  Between the water stops and the walk through the gravel stretch, I ended my run in an 11 minute pace.  I was beating myself up a bit when I finished, but when I look at the overall results, I am quite proud of what I accomplished.  Out of 9475 runners, I came in the top 24% overall, top 22% of my division and top 17% of all women.  Not too shabby!  Lessons learned-  I will take a good nap before the 1/2 marathon.  I’ll hydrate more leading up to the run and I’ll have a snack about an our before the start.

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Special Olympics 10K
Charlottesville, VA
September 2013
Time: 59:36

10KSpecialOlympics_September2013

I participated in this race to get a qualifying corral time for my upcoming 10 miler and 1/2 marathon.  It was also for a great cause!  The weather was perfect for running.  Cool, dry and partly cloudy.  The course was pretty flat until the last mile, which had quite a few uphill runs until finishing on a bit of a downhill for the last 1/4 mile or so.  About halfway through the run, part of the UVA band was playing to cheer runners on.  I was hoping to make it in under an hour.  I managed to finish strong and cross the line with time to spare.

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Charlottesville Women’s 4 Miler
Benefiting the UVA Breast Care Center
August 2013
Time: 41:17
Womens4miler_August2013
This particular race is such an inspirational one.  It’s the biggest all female race in Virginia.  It’s for an awesome cause and there’s so much support through the training program and just with all of the women in general.  There were 3029 participants this year.  Runners, joggers, woggers and walkers all participated.  I had the pleasure of running with a friend of mine who is a breast cancer survivor and had her treatment at the UVA Breast Care Center.  We didn’t run for time, but my friend did beat her previous year’s time by a good deal!  It was such an inspirational day as I also watched friends of mine, whom I had encouraged to sign up for the training program,  finish their very first race.

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Anthem Moonlight Ride
August 2013
17 Mile night ride

Moonlight Ride Caitlin August 2013

Each year 3500 riders come out for this ride.  Many decorate their bikes with lights or wear costumes.   It’s definitely a sight to see.  The ride itself is a very easy 17 mile course, with just a few hills (overpasses).   It rained for a good portion of the ride, which made it difficult to see the road well in the dark, and there were tons of riders, which made it very difficult to pass people.  They have separate corrals for the speed riders, weekend warriors, casual riders and family riders.  We signed up for the casual wave, however, we quickly learned that casual was a bit too casual for my experience level.  If we do it again next year, I’ll definitely sign up for the weekend warrior corral.  I’ll also get some fun lights or decorations for my bike!  All in all, it was a fun time!

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Kiwanis 4th of July 5K
Charlottesville, VA
July 2013
Time: 29:50

  CROPPED AFTER S&C

Another fun local race.  Once again, I had my “under 30 minutes” goal that I wanted to hit.  This was a muggy, super-humid, thick Virginia summer morning.  The course was relatively flat for cville, with just one steep hill towards the end.  I huffed and puffed through towards the finish line as I heard one of the volunteers yell “you can make it under 30 minutes, come on!”.  I have no idea who the volunteer was, but that was exactly what I needed to hear.  I hurled my body as fast as I could to the finish line and crossed with 10 seconds to spare.  Wow, that felt AWESOME to hit my goal.  I believe my husband (shown in this picture with me) also hit a personal record with a 23:55 finish time! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jefferson Sprint Triathlon
Charlottesville, VA
June 2013
Time:  01:44
350meter pool swim • 13.2 mile bike • 3.1 mile run

Triathlon_June2013

I’m still pretty amazed and proud that I accomplished this triathlon.  I was at my fitness center less than 2 weeks before this triathlon when the owner asked me if I would ever be interested in doing a triathlon.  I told her, as a matter of fact, it’s on my “before I turn 40 bucket list”.  I had planned to do one in the Spring of 2014.  She told me that one of her clients was willing to do a free training clinic the Sunday before the triathlon.  He would walk us through what happens at a triathlon, how to set up a transition station, tips for each piece and then he’d take us through the bike and run portions.  I agreed to participate in the clinic, but I wasn’t planning on signing up for the triathlon.  I hadn’t been training for it at all.  I could swim, but I wasn’t a “swimmer”.  I could bike, but I’d never done much more than a handful of miles in my neighborhood, I had never ridden on roads with traffic!  The only thing I was confident about was the run.  I knew I could run.  When the day of the training clinic arrived, I was shaking like a leaf.  I dragged another friend along with me because I was too anxious to do it by myself.  Once we got started, my nerves calmed and I got through the very hilly bike portion feeling pretty good.  We were quickly introduced to the feeling of our calves seizing up from bike to run, but we were talked through it and knew what to expect.  Once we were finished with the training, I knew I had to do the full triathlon that following Saturday, after all, I had done everything except for the swim already! I was definitely nervous on the day of the triathlon.  I had a tough time catching my breath during the swim because of my nerves.  I eased up a bit during the bike ride and even managed to pass a few people (I was nervous about passing).  Once I got to the run, I was definitely feeling it in my calves, but I got through it and only slowed to a walk briefly up hills.  With very little prep, and less than 2 weeks of even thinking about participating in this race, I was very happy and proud to have finished.  This may have been my first triathlon, but it certainly won’t be my last.  I really enjoyed it and hope to complete many more in the future.

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For the Wounded 5K
Charlottesville, VA
June 2013
Time: 30:35  

 4TW5K_2013

This was a nicely run local 5K.  The course had a fairly long uphill stretch, but it wasn’t too bad.  It was quite warm in the sun, even though the race was early in the morning.  My personal goal was to finish in under 30 minutes.  This was the first race in which I had ever had a time goal in mind.  My goals have always been and will always be to finish, but I usually have a personal goal in my head before any race.  Prior to this race, most of my goals revolved around not slowing to a walk, or only slowing to a walk on hills.  I got myself a bit hyped up while waiting to start, and once the race started, I made the classic rookie mistake of going out way too fast.  I completed my first mile in just under 9 minutes, which, at the time, was really awesome.  Then the uphill climb began and my energy quickly faded.  I ran the entire race, but my pace slowed quite a bit on my last 2 miles.  I came close to my goal, but missed it by 36 seconds.  I was still very happy with my run.  It’s runs like this one that I had to remind myself that I couldn’t even run more than 60 seconds at a time without being out of breath less than a year before.

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5K Foam Fest
Richmond, VA
May 2013

Foam Fest 2013

Another fun event coordinated my my mud run friend.  Her husband came up with our team name “Mudlife Crisis”.  I absolutely love it, it’s quite fitting!  This particular “run” was pure fun.  There were foam filled obstacles, bounce houses, a ginormous blow up slide, some mud, a couple of crawls and a wall to get over.  Not too challenging, but a ton of fun all the same!

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Dirty Girl 5K Mud Run
Virginia Beach, VA
April 2013

Dirty Girl April 2013

This mud run was on my calendar for a long time and I was really looking forward to it!  There was a huge group of us that did the run, organized mostly by the same friend that encouraged me to participate in my first mud run.  I came really close to not participating in this run.  I was sidelined from running for almost 6 weeks due to severe tendinitis and a near stress fracture in my right foot that was likely caused by changing to a more minimalist sneaker during training runs.  I did have to pull out of the Richmond 10K and the Charlottesville 8K due to my injury, but I had just enough time to start running again and get trained for this 5K mud run. This mud run, is good clean fun.  All women, a ton of oddly grey mud, obstacles designed for everyone to succeed and tons of girl power, love and support.  Doesn’t get much better than that!

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Charlottesville First Night 5K
December 31, 2012
Time: 38:12

First Night 5K_Jan2013

This was a very cold day for running.  I ran this 5K with a friend and remember us both being numb from the cold long after the run!  It was fun and a great way to close out my first year running.  I did, however, decide to take a break from outdoor runs until the warmer weather returned.

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5K Jingle Bell Run for Arthritis
Crozet, VA
December 2012
Time: 46:00

Jingle Bell Run_Dec2012

I had just gotten over the flu the week before this run, so I had to walk a lot of it, but I was thrilled to even be able to participate and finish!

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5K Turkey Trot,
Millersville, PA
November 2012
Time:  37:22

Turkey Trot2012_MY_FIRST5K

My very first run was a Turkey Trot in Millersville, PA.  We go to PA every year for Thanksgiving.  This run will now be an annual tradition and I will always remember it as my very first 5K run!  I ran most of this run, and only walked some during the hills.  The cold air affected my breathing more than I had expected and I hadn’t been training outside much at all.  I can’t wait to run it again this year to see how far I’ve come! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Rogue Runner 10K Mud Run
October 2012

RogueRunner10KMudRun_Oct2012

My 1st race bib was from a 10K mud run in late October 2012.  I had a very supportive friend who, along with her brother, encouraged me and helped me through it.   I wasn’t able to complete some of the obstacles, I had to walk a lot of the course, and there were long lines at the obstacles, but I still finished!  The most memorable obstacles were the rope swing into the freezing lake water, followed by a swim to the docks.  The peg wall climb, a brick wall we had to get over and the longest, rock-filled, uphill barb wire crawl anyone had ever seen.  I had huge bruises and scrapes for weeks after… but I loved it!


2 responses to “My Race Bibs

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