Archive for the ‘Disney Marathon’ Category

Brick by Brick: Building Your Strength

August 27

It’s that time of year. If you had asked me last January when I ran my second marathon if I’d start training for my 3rd Disney marathon come September, I would have likely laughed and dismissed the idea. When Beth and I ran the Disney marathon this past January (her 3rd marathon and my 2nd), we thought we’d want to wait a few years to run another. We needed a break. As magical and wonderful as it is to run 26.2 miles through the happiest place on earth, you can’t escape the sheer intensity of running a marathon. Everything about marathons is intense – the training, the time commitment, the toll/s on your body, the physical and mental rewards. After running my second marathon in January and getting my dose of extreme fitness filled, I thought I’d be “good for a while”.

Then June happened. Running in the heat is hard enough and has a way of making this already slow runner feel totally beat and out of shape. I started to miss being able to get outside and run 6 miles without feeling like death by the end of the run. I missed the accountability of marathon training. Training for past marathons in many ways was like having another best friend in my life. We’d hang out several times a week and I’d leave feeling happier and more confident in myself. I missed pushing myself out of my comfort zone (only to grow leaps and bounds!) each week.

So without much coaxing or arm twisting on either end, Beth and I decided to register for the Disney 2013 marathon. I’ve never been more excited to train for a marathon with my sister than I am for this one. Beth’s fianc√© is being deployed in early September for 9 months and this training will be such a blessing for us while he is away. I look forward to being there for my sister during this time in her life and vice versa. There is always so much personal growth when you train for something as extreme as a marathon and I’m sure this time will be no different.

Now begins our training. Gulp!¬†I’ve decided to one up my training this year by adding in 2 visits with a personal trainer each week leading up to the marathon in January. I’ve only had 2 sessions with him thus far and they have been incredibly eye opening. Hello weak arms!¬†: ) Brick by brick, long runs, short runs and many sessions with my trainer over the coming months- I look forward to building my strength and endurance. My ultimate goal is to run the marathon in under 5 hours. A few thoughts to help see this goal come to fruition (and great life reminders to boot):

Stop caring what others think of you. Just stop. ¬†If I thought for one second about how ridiculous I look doing burpees in front of my trainer, I’d never go. WHO CARES! What matters is that I’m showing I’m committed to being better.

Be specific with your goals. Without goals, it will take you a lot longer to get where you’re going. ¬†Be specific. Write our your goals and hold yourself accountable.

You are not Person A or Person B- you are YOU! (And that’s the way it should be!) Don’t compare yourself. Compete with yourself.

Be patient. As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day. This one is especially hard for me at times. I’m a mover. I’m a shaker. I’m a doer. I like results. Practice patience and trust in the process. Even the parts that feel slow and quiet…

Take pride in where you are. You are what you think Рbe kind with your thoughts and encourage yourself the way you would a best friend.

Disney Memories

January 11

I’m back! : )

I had the most amazing week making memories with my family and my Uncle Carl. There was a lot of sleeping in, eating far too much, laughing and  soaking in the sun. Oh and I also ran a marathon! More to come on that soon.

For now, a few moments I’ll cherish. I’ve never been more thankful for family and good health in my life. All of these were taken with my iPhone and a point and shoot.

Happy Wednesday, sweet friends. Make it count.




B.R.A.V.E. Update – Disney Marathon less than 10 days away!

December 29

Happy Thursday to you! So happy you’re here.

I will be running my second Disney Marathon next Sunday. Where, or where has time gone?! I remember suiting up for my long run, 60 minutes, during week 1 of my training. It seems like training started only ¬†a few weeks ago. I was nervous and scared to undergo training for a full marathon again. Training is tough. It’s time consuming and it’s hard on your body but I say with confidence that the training I’ve undergone for this marathon has taught me so much about the woman I aspire to be and even more about my potential. For this, I am thankful.

I am raising money for the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. 100% or the proceeds made through B.R.A.V.E. (Kyle and I have raised $1270, almost 25% of our goal) and my fundraising efforts will go directly to the ISBVI to help fund the technology and assistive device needs of its students. Asking for money is definitely something I’m not very comfortable doing but I am doing this for the students and asking on their behalf.

I’d be so touched if you could donate before I run next Sunday. No donation is too small and I appreciate every single one to the stars. I know the ISBVI students will appreciate your generosity, too.

If you wish to donate to B.R.A.V.E., please follow the donation link below and click Sponsor Me.

In the most sincere way, thank you. It means the world to me!





Please Support Me! DONATE to B.R.A.V.E.

October 23


I recently spearheaded B.R.A.V.E. – Biking and Running for the Advancement of Vision and Eduction – an effort through which I am raising money in the name of my second Walt Disney marathon I will run in January – all proceeds will be given directly to the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ISBVI) to fund the technology and assistive device needs of its students.

 Please read more about B.R.A.V.E. and DONATE here:

I am entering week 5 of my training and I’m getting stronger and stronger. It feels amazing to train and have this greater cause to run for each time I hit the pavement. Please, please open your hearts and help us make a difference in the lives of ISBVI students.

So much love and appreciation,



October 13

Happy Thursday, friends! I am so excited to announce this effort to you all today. It has been a long time coming and I am ecstatic at the thought of making a real difference together

I’ve been a runner since high school. I’m not fast but I love how running makes me feel. Running empowers me¬†and makes me feel strong. This past January, I ran my first ever marathon.¬†I ran a Disney marathon with my big sister and it was one of the best experiences of my life. B and I ran the entirety of the race together and crossed the finish line hand in hand. Training for that day taught me more than I could have ever imagined or anticipated. ¬†I knew going into training that it would be challenging to say the least, but what I didn’t expect was the growth that would take place in my heart.

I promised myself that if ever I ran another marathon, I would raise money for a cause. When I signed up to run my second Disney marathon just months ago, the reality of choosing a cause to fight for became much more real. Everywhere you look there is a noble cause. In the weeks leading up to training, I became a little heavy hearted about finding the right cause for me. It was nothing I lost sleep over, but I just wanted it to feel right.

I was out for a run one day and saw a couple groups of kids from a distance walking ahead of me, paired off in groups of 2-4. They were linked at the arms. As I passed the group in the back, one boy reached out for me. It startled me in all honesty. He had thick glasses and walked with his knees bowed in. He smiled at me. I then noticed walking canes and within seconds I realized these children are blind or, at the least, visually impaired. I run past the remaining groups of children, each of them smiling with one another and helping each other along. The sun was shining brightly as I continued to run.

I believe in signs. I think God sends them when you’re ready to see them.

The thing is: My passion simply would not exist¬†without my vision. I couldn’t be a photographer without my vision and the thought of losing my eyesight is heartbreaking. Each day I get up and go about my business, completely taking for granted that I can actually see this world with clarity. I can see a baby crawling or a bride tearing up. I can see my brother dance with his little boy and see how it always makes him smile. I can see the keyboard beneath my nose and a teeny tiny hot air balloon in the sky from a distance. I might even be able to make out what color it is. It is so easy to take these visions for granted when in reality, I am beyond blessed to be able to experience these details every day.

I’m grateful for that run because it was the catalyst for bringing B.R.A.V.E. to life.

Biking and Running for the Advancement of Vision and Education

Biking? Who is biking? ¬†B.R.A.V.E. is actually a team effort! I’ll be doing the running and Kyle will be riding a century (100 miles) in May. Together we have been working with a wonderful woman by the name of Theresa Brun with the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired¬†(ISBVI). The ISBVI is one of Indiana’s hidden gems. I’ve grown up in Indianapolis and had never set foot on the school’s campus prior to a little over a month ago. The school is beautiful and the difference it makes in its students’ lives is truly inspiring. Not only has Theresa been such a joy to get to know, but also I’ve been inspired by her deep compassion for the ISBVI’s mission. When Kyle and I first met with Theresa, she explained to us that students either come to the ISBVI for a “week or a lifetime” – with the majority of those students staying for a lifetime. The students, at every age, love it there and feel at home.

After meeting with Theresa a handful of times, seeing the school, and learning more about its mission and its students, we have decided to raise funds for the Indiana Blind Children’s Foundation and more specifically the technological needs of its students. ¬†I had absolutely no concept ¬†of the complex and expensive technological needs for a blind or visually impaired student. For example, a Braillenote Apex – the equivalent to an iPad ($500) to a person with vision, which allows a blind or visually impaired student to store texts, record notes, surf the web, send e-mail, and create documents is $6500 and the school needs 30 of them! Or there is also the Victor Reader Stream – a device that holds audio versions of textbooks. Braille and large print textbooks are, as you can imagine, quite thick after being translated into Braille and thus frustrating for any person, visually impaired or not, to transport. The VRS is a portable solution to the problem. Each one costs $350. Simply put, it is very expensive for a blind or visually impaired student to have the same tools you and I had in school or maybe your children have today, right now, at their exposure. These numbers are daunting but I know in my heart that B.R.A.V.E. can make a real difference.

Our goal with B.R.A.V.E. is to raise $6500! 

How can you support our cause? CLICK HERE to visit B.R.A.V.E.’s donation link and contribute!!!

You can make a donation by clicking Sponsor Our Team (located under the progress thermometer) or by clicking Sponsor Me within our personal pages. Every dollar, every dime, every penny helps. No donation is too small and every donation is so appreciated. I will be posting here on my blog about our progress and tweeting about it as well. Make sure to keep up with Kyle’s tweets, too! Please help spread the word by sharing our donation link at will.

I am so excited about shedding light on this foundation’s cause and spearheading a positive movement towards making a real difference in these awesome kids’ lives. I am ecstatic (gigantic understatement) about seeing the difference we will make together.

So much love and excitement!!!

Caitlin : )

26.2 : How Monical’s Changed My Life (Kind Of)

September 9

You’re right – it’s just a pizza joint. How did it change your life?

It was like any other typical outing among the Sullivan family. Around a year ago now, I was out to dinner with my sister and my parents at Monical’s pizza. ¬†We were sitting in a big, round booth and somehow Disney World came into our topic of discussion. I say somehow as though I’m not sure how this happened when really I know full well and it’s because – my family loves¬†Disney World. We made many trips there growing up and for me some of my happiest memories as a little girl are my dad holding me as we watched the fireworks at Magic Kingdom or the rock candy we’d always buy that came in a plastic, chunky case the shape of Goofy’s head. We of course reminisced about past trips and running quickly surfaced in our conversation. Before you knew it we were looking up details about the Disney Marathon on our phones. We found it took place in January. That would give us 4 months to train.

This whole conversation was so completely fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants…I can’t begin to say. Still on a high from the thought of it all, B and I went back to her place after dinner and were sitting outside on her front porch with the Indy skyline before us.¬†We’ve got to sign up now. If we wait until tomorrow, there’s no way we’re following through.

Signing up for the Disney marathon was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Training taught me more about myself than I ever thought imaginable. I learned my strength more than anything and I learned what can really happen when I apply myself to a goal no matter how extreme it may be. ¬† Training 3-5 times a week and working on myself and my heart gave me the confidence to dream bigger. Even today I will hear a song that takes me back to my training last fall and I’m right there in my run with my heart pumping and my breath filling the cold air- powerful, determined and focused.

I can’t help but draw a parallel to all other opportunities in life when I think of this story. What started as a whimsical idea – one that is so easy to let roll off of your back because the sound of it is so heavy – quickly became a happy reality when a heaping dose of will and determination mixed with a dash of crazy and a sprinkle of spontaneity.

What if?

What if you acted on one of those whimsical thoughts? One of those opportunities that is literally at your feet every day waiting to be tapped into? Where would that put you tomorrow?

Perhaps this very instant is your time. -Louise Bogan

As a toast to our training for our second marathon (which starts very soon!), B and I went back to that booth in Monical’s – the one where we playfully joked about running a marathon. The one where we let our hearts take the lead…

My wish for you today and always is that you let your heart lead and ACT.¬†There are so many beautiful opportunities that await us every day and it’s up to us to make them a reality.

I am so stoked to share with you some exciting details about running my second marathon. Please stay tuned to hear more! In the meantime, have a happy weekend with lots of rest. Maybe eat some pizza, too.

So much love,


Disney Marathon: Playlist Love – What Fires You Up?

August 23

Welcome! If you’re new here – that’s great news. I love to meet new people so please – drop a line and let’s chat!

Last January I ran my first ever full marathon with my big sister. In Disney World, no less. Yes, it was magical in so many ways but I loved the training just much as running the actual marathon. Training for a marathon is as tough as it is rewarding. It is time consuming, surprising (no run is ever the same), exhilarating¬†and¬†exhausting all at the same time. With the marathon in January, we trained during the fall and in the winter months and I loved it! I’d run in weather in the teens over hot weather any day of the week.

My bib number / my big sister and I after finishing the marathon:

I have registered to run my second Disney Marathon in January! YEEHAW!!!! ¬†I’ll be running with my big sis again and this time my oldest brother, Colin, as well! We’re SO excited! Training starts in September and I’m updating my playlists. Music is so imperative when I run. Here are just a couple songs that fire me up when I run:

Right Above it – Lil Wayne ft. Drake
So Alive – Ryan Adams
Spotlight – Mutemath
Moment 4 Life – Nicki Minaj
All of the Lights – Kanye West
Best Love Song – T Pain ft. Chris Brown
Better Than – John Butler Trio
Chop Me Up – Justin Timberlake ft. Three 6 Mafia
Consolers of the Lonely – The Raconteurs
Simple As – KiD CuDi
Super Bass – Nicki Minaj
Us – Regina Spektor
Pretty Girl Rock – Keri Hilson
Sure Thing – Miguel
Best Thing I Never Had – Beyonce
Dog Days are Over – Florence & the Machine
Next 2 You – Chris Brown ft. Justin Bieber
Fast Car – Wyclef ft. Paul Simon
I Got You – Leona Lewis
Musicology – Prince
Little Secrets -Passion Pit
Mikey Rocks – The Cool Kids

What song/s fire you up? I’d love your help and suggestions.

Thanks, friends! Stick around. I’ll be blogging about my journey as I train. Happy Tuesday! xo