TGIF (and PMS, TBH)

Oh yeah, we’re going there.

I swear, I’m not talking about menstruation to be edgy or controversial to get more traffic. I mean, let’s be real we all know there’s like 1.2 people that read this blog.

It’s just that it’s incredibly relevant to my training as it effects everything i think/do/eat/say/feel for these 4 days.

So now that I’ve made this sufficiently awkward… let’s chat! Fun things to know about me: I am STRONGLY affected by my female cycle. Like, every cliche you can think up to the most extreme level–that’s me. Debilitating abdominal cramps, intense fatigue, ridiculously emotionally sensitive, weird cravings and a massive appetite, and yes, often bitchy (although I keep it to internal bitchy thoughts and rarely act on them.)

It’s taken me a solid 9 years, but I’ve finally reached the point where I can tell that when I’m really sad and emotional for 3 days straight, it means by best friend is coming to visit. And I’m not crazy. (Well, not for those reasons. LOL #truth)

Usually, it doesn’t actually affect my running in the literal sense of speed/pain/windedness. It’s all the other things that surround the run that tend to be impacted. Let’s take my half-marathon, June of 2013, for example. The day before the race, my mom + sister + I drove up and stayed in a hotel nearby. That night, long story short, my mom made me feel like shit and my sister wasn’t helping. I was sad/angry/hurt/angry all at once. But the morning of, I tried to shake it off best I could and keep positive (since that’s the cornerstone of my practice).

At mile 8, I got my goddamn period. And it didn’t just quietly announce itself. It stained my shorts in a big way. Looking back, it’s a funny memory because a) I don’t give a F and b) There’s one really cute photo of me thumbs-ing up, but I always crop out the bottom 1/8 because you can blatantly see my shorts.

999128_10151853797147359_166883609_n

On normal, run of the mill, no race, just a training run days, my period most strongly influences my motivation. Typically, my emotions manifest themselves in self-loathing and self-doubt. My exhaustion coupled with my preggo-style bloating don’t help, and I often prefer to stay in bed than to get out on the street (or to the gym), even though my rational mind knows that exercise is *great* for helping menstrual symptoms.

It was really hard today to decide to put on my cold running gear instead of my PJ bottoms and crawl right back into bed. What is easy is using this physical and emotional discomfort as a crutch to fall back on as an excuse for being static. But I prefer to be in motion and to be productive, even if my present-tense hormonal self wants to be a sloth monster. And in the end, I’m so glad that I got to add happy hormones to the hormonal cocktail that is my body right now. Plus, getting outside today makes tomorrow’s run even more exciting.

BECAUSE, regardless of the state of my reproductive system…. today was my first run since Thanksgiving!!! I was very nervous, as I’ve been taking a break for the past two weeks due to my ankle pain (explained in my last post), and I feared it would come right back the moment I hit the pavement. But 2 blocks past, then 5, then a half mile, then 2 miles, and suddenly I had run 5k and only hints of shin pains had emerged. It appears as though I was back on the wagon!

(Despite an incredibly slow time. Like really slow. YOLO. Actually, not YOLO. There was a moment when I looked at my time, and I noticed I was being passed by what looked like a boys’ middle school running club. And I was embarrassed. Wow, 13 year old boys are passing me. I’m some runner. Dressed in this nice cold weather gear, I must look like a total poser who just rolled straight out of Nike [actually all my clothes are from Marshall’s/ TJ Maxx–call me a Maxxinista]. Then I had a moment of clarity: I’ve never run to be fast. I don’t care about improving my times. My motivation has always been self-love and confidence. So who gives a fuck if I’m at a snail’s pace? I’m making myself better. SO YOLO.)

The moral of this whole story: My brain is mush as the semester ends, and I’m hormonal, and I’m sleepy. BUT I’m sleepy after a 4 mile run, for which I am eternally grateful 🙂 🙂 🙂 AND I’m back on that training plan grind, so tomorrow is a lovely 5 miles in the sun! (Fingers crossed!!)

Currently wearing: a Life is Good shirt with a cup of coffee on it and yoga pants because WHAT ELSE IS THERE (seriously thinking about burning my jeans)

Currently working on: Pinterest for work. I’m the luckiest girl alive.

Currently not working on: My final paper, which I very much should be.

April 20, 2015

I’m back, ladies and gentlemen!

Because finally, I’ve got something exciting to write about.

I officially have a spot in the 2015 Boston Marathon.

Wait…. WHAT!!!???!?

I can hardly believe it but I will be running 26.2 miles in just over 5 months.

puppy-1

And I’m lucky enough to be running for an organization whose mission is so in line with own. I’m committing to raising $5,000 for the American Medical Athletic Association Youth Fund, who works to fight childhood obesity with physical fitness programs for school-aged children.
If you’re interested in donating to the cause and helping to inspire me out the door on the tough days, anything helps!

https://www.crowdrise.com/amaabostonmarathon2015/fundraiser/caitlinrowles

Get pumped for some regular posts about running + eating + procrastinating + rambling about that senior-year-in-college-what-is-life stuff.

xo

*Insert James Franco Reference Here*

…because it’s “spraaang breeeeaaaaakkkkk!

Thankfully, my spring break will include none of the horror that movie did (seriously, it was the weirdest, most uncomfortable and messed up thing I saw all last summer). And finally, literally within the last hour, all of my midterms are submitted, and I can go into full on spring break mode!

No sunny, beach trips for me, though this vacation. My break will be a full one, spent babysitting, working, having out with my #1 soul sister, and heading home for a few days. I’ve had these past 2 days to be a sloth on my couch, and that’s plenty of laziness for my liking.

This week was pure insanity for me, from classes to midterms to my second ever all-nighter to my first ever conference call to club stuff to work, and my sleep pattern got super thrown off. It is with great sadness that I admit I am back on the coffee IV. My all-nighter was surprisingly fun, spent with 5 of my friends from work, where we occupied one of the hallways in the lower level of our library (open 24/7 down there). At one point, there was yoga. Downward Dog made an appearance in that hallway around 2 a.m.

Earlier that day, though, I had to embrace the incredible weather NYC was having. The climate has been more temperamental than *this girl* gets about 1/month, so the 55 degree, sunny weather was not to be passed up. I went on a glorious run over to the East River and for the first time since October, I rocked a T-SHIRT! My arms couldn’t have been happier. I also listened to Pandora during my run, which is the first time I’ve listened to anything running since October. It was a wonderful addition. I do love the peace and mental clarity that comes with running free of music/podcasts/distractions too, but there’s something lovely about that upbeat soundtrack cheering you along. (I switched between Jason Mraz radio, Eric Hutchinson radio, and Noah and the Whale radio). Since I was already full of firsts, I decided to hop onto the track I always pass by. Another great experience! I haven’t run on a large track like that since high school (the rooftop one on my gym is 1/7 mile and a completely different experience). It was so nice to stretch and do some ab work after my 3.5 on the grass soaking up some vitamin d.

But the real victory was yesterday. Another beautiful day, another t-shirt weather kind of run. After my weekly visit to my therapist (you gotta do it! so amazing!), I headed out on a jaunt over to my favorite running spot, the Hudson River. I took my music with me and scored big time with the Eric Hutchinson station. I decided to stick to a similar schedule as my half-marathon training, except without any sort of purpose. Basically, 2-3 5k-ish runs during the week and a long run on the weekend. I figured I’d go about 6 yesterday. But I felt so wonderful during that run, had so much positive energy coming from all around – the other runners at the park, the adorable puppies, cute babies (and their hot dads)(judge me), and coming from myself – that I didn’t turn around until mile 4. At mile 6.5, I knew I wanted to make it 8 miles because I was still feeling so great.

Screen Shot 2014-03-16 at 10.34.05 PM

Looking at this as I drained my legs against a light post just truly blew me away. Not because 8 miles was a triumph. But because of the fact that it no longer was a triumph. Exactly a year ago today, I decided I was going to run a half marathon. (Inspired by meeting a girl who had just finished the NYC Half.) At that time, running 5k was my ultimate limit. I can remember being terrified the first time I had my 5 mile long run. The week my long run was 8 miles, I barely got myself out the door. I remember, I planned out the route and did it at Central Park. After I finished that day, I felt such an overwhelming pride for having done something I’d never done before – 8 miles! And I was more sore/hungrier than ever. My stats for that run:

Screen Shot 2014-03-16 at 10.38.32 PM

A year later, and I ran 8 miles just because it was sunny out and because I *can*.

Boy, the things you can accomplish. The things that seem impossible right now can become something you mention in passing because it is so natural. Growing up, I was never a runner. And now, I can run 8 miles because I feel like it.

How freaking victorious is that?!

Now I have to remind myself that it’s ok to go for a 2.5 mile run. Not everything has to be groundbreaking.

On another, more tasty note, I celebrated PiDay! With caramel apple mini pies. I’ve still got one to go 😉

And I’ve decided to spare my instagram followers my obsession with food photographs, and have made a profile dedicated to my noms. And probably fitnessy stuff too!

Follow me @thevegesaurusrex 🙂

Look forward to some imminent insta’s of tasty vegan treats since it’s my friend’s vegan-versary on Wednesday! #CELEBRATEGOODTIMESCOMEON

love, lettuce, and legumes,

cait

Everybody’s twerkin’ for the weekend.

After such an insanely  booked week, I was beyond ready for this lovely, quiet, relaxing weekend. Well, not *entirely* quiet and relaxing, but overall rejuvenating nonetheless.

Friday was Pure Barre!! My friend Jaime and I have been trying out different fitness trends (Jaime did an individual trampoline class, and we’ve been running and doing yoga) getting ready for Muderella, and since both of us had raving recommendations for Pure Barre. So we gave it a try! 7:30 Friday morning, we showed up to the studio, were set up by the sweetest instructor in the middle of the room, and for the next 55 minutes, had our butts kicked! If you were to look at us from the outside of the studio, I’m sure that most of it would look silly because the majority of the poses, you’re just *squeezing*. The pulses are all about moving your muscles like 1 or 2 inches. But MAN did we enter the “shake zone.” My prediction of muscular jello was spot on.

I can tell a workout is good when I find muscles sore that I didn’t know existed, and Barre was no exception. And because I’m a sucker for workouts and good deals, I snagged the new client special and now have unlimited classes for 1 month! I’ll be starting my month post spring break, so I can get the most out of it. Stay tuned for more, maybe I’ll have some sweet guns by the end of my month!
But *yesterday* was such an incredibly beautiful day! The weather was warm, and so after work, I went for a beautiful and long run. My legs were still pretty spicy, but these days, seeing the sun and feeling that little bit of warmth practically screams at me to get out the door and over to the Hudson River. Being in that atmosphere, with happy couples enjoying the sun, runners, bikers, adorable children and puppies PLUS the adrenaline of running gives me such joy that I can’t compare to anything. So that jaunt turned into 6.5 miles! Of pure magic. And another round of jello. But luckily, I spent my night “babysitting” (read: playing with the boys for 20 minutes, putting them to bed, and watching Frozen on the couch) and restoring.

When I went to bed late last night (read: 10:30 p.m.), I already knew I had to give my body a rest today. I ventured over to the far away land of Brooklyn and, after some subway incompetencies, made it to Le Pain Quotidien for brunch with my best friends from freshman year. My pot of coffee (yes, I am reintegrating caffeine into my diet……… my will power is nonexistent) and warm pear quinoa cereal bowl hit the spot, and conversation with beautiful women strolling through Prospect Park were needed refreshment.

Screen Shot 2014-03-09 at 7.48.01 PM

And as my friend  (read: fellow vegan athlete!) and I were walking back to the train station and talking about veganism, we ran smack dab into a vegan ice cream place. Taking it as a sign from something higher, we treated ourself.

Screen Shot 2014-03-09 at 7.46.45 PM

 

On my way home, I stopped at Whole Foods for some of my first Vitamix pantry staples. Almonds (for almond milk + butter), tahini (hummus, duh!), Nutritional Yeast (I ran out for the first time ever and have been lost w/o it), chia seeds (way too many for way too much $$$ but they will last and my health is WORTH it), and oats (read note about nooch). And somehow successfully managed not to splurge on any of these:

 

Screen Shot 2014-03-09 at 7.48.13 PM

CHOCOLATEEEE (*in the voice of dude from spongebob ep)

 

I made my almond milk, and it is abundantly clear that I do need to get a nut milk bag, because although it’s completely liquified, there’s a grittiness that’s just not tasty. Next up? Almond butter! Hummus! The chick peas are soaking, and I’m waiting to finish all my current jars of nut butter (though we all know that won’t take long at all).

Tomorrow? Back to classes, work, yoga, and getting my hair did! I’ve been rocking the roots for so long that they’ve taken on a new life.

 

Currently watching: Keeping Up with the Kardashians. I hate it but I just can’t turn it off. Judge me.

Currently eating: nothing because my sweet potato/green bean/red bean/balsamic salad was too good to eat slowly and it’s already gone

Currently procrastinating: writing my midterm papers because W/E (jk I’m just good under more pressure)

 

hasta la vista,

xoxo C

 

In the kitchen, the studio, the classroom, and the street

It’s been one of those weeks where I look at my Google Calendar, and it’s a beautiful tetris board of color block. Long days, not so long nights of sleep. Finally, on Thursday night (after watching Parks and Rec, of course) I have some moments of quiet to reflect on my past week!

Last weekend was a vegan’s DREAM. The 4th Annual New York Vegetarian Food Festival! I volunteered Saturday and Sunday this year (up from just one shift last year, moving up in the ranks!), which meant helping out, meeting hundreds (if not thousands) of open minded New Yorkers- whether vegetarian, vegan, or just hungry! And it also meant access to incredible new, innovative, and delicious vegan products. I tried a range of Vega products, an unREAL vegan empanada from VSpot in Brooklyn, magical cacao mint raw ice cream from Raw Ice Cream Company, got the cutest canvas bag from Herbivore Clothing (maybe I’ll post a pic in the future), and arguably the most influential purchase I have ever made in my entire life……

A VITAMIX!

My relationship with the idea of a Vitamix has been a long one, asking for one at literallly every gift-giving occasion since I was 16. The deal was so good last weekend, and I decided to take my (culinary) life into my own hands and buy that cherry red beauty. It even came with a free extra grain container. I’ve made a ton of delicious green and fruity smoothies, and am already crafting my nut butter and nut milk adventure that is imminent this weekend. Maybe even some sorbet tonight? It’s life changing! Over the course of the week, I’ve been able to reveal my most beautiful friendships: the friends who instantly get excited when I tell them about my blender purchase. That’s love, right there.

 

As I mentioned before, my GCal has been a total rockstar this week, and my freetime has been minimal. Between classes, doing readings for those classes, work, babysitting, my environmental club, a new campaign I’m working with on campus, and having time for friends, there is very little wiggle room! But my time at NYU has taught me something. Exercise has to be a priority too; getting my blood flowing deserves its own color block on my calendar. So I’ve been doing that! Mostly yoga and gym visits, with a few runs thrown in there. I feel as though my yoga practice has surmounted a new hill. Suddenly, one class I’m breathing heavy and spicy in chair pose, and the next practice, it’s an old friend more than a challenge. A light clicked. Now, I can explore harder variations of asanas that I haven’t before and it’s like starting anew again. Very exciting.

And getting back to street running has been like another new awakening. It’s like as soon as I’m on the pavement, memories of running last spring resurface, and suddenly I’m in the state of mind of spring time, beautiful weather, excitement for what’s to come, and just pure bliss. It helps that I have some sweet new Nike Free 5.0+ kicks out there with me. 

This week also marks the beginning of Lent, a time where, as a Christian, I have always contemplated what to “give up”, or commit myself to, to honor and respect the 40 days and nights Jesus spent in the desert without. Much like resolutions, I’ve never really found anything I could stick with to the point of enlightenment (that thing I, and many of us, am always looking for.) But as the weather is slowly but surely improving, and I’ve been reminded how much I love running and feeling triumphant, I’ve decided that instead of sacrificing this Lent, I will commit. To running every day for 40 days. Nothing crazy, not 40 half marathons. A minimum of 1 mile per day. That’s it. Some days will be longer, sure. I just want to commit to getting myself out the door every day, to remind myself just how incredibly blessed I am to have been given the body and life that I have.

 

So, let’s go for a run!

 

On tomorrow’s docket: my first ever Pure Barre class!!! I have been wanting to do this since my bff/brain twin started raving about the classes last summer. Finally, my friend and I will be getting our barre on bright and early tomorrow morning. I’ll report back with updates of muscle jello and, I’m sure pure jubilation.

 

Stay tuned for vitamix magic, muscular jello, and lots and lots of lovin.

Image

 

xo

cmoney