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.

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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.

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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

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.

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xo

cmoney