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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

 

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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

 

Days 72 + 73 + 74 (#trainfree)

The past 2 days have been insane amazing unreal absurd EPIC.

I mentioned on Tuesday that I was ok my way back to NYC for an awesome ever with Nike. And holy cow, it was awesome!!

Day 72: The event was for women to put their new Free Bionic shoe to the test, doing high intensity training (HIT) workouts in super public places around Brooklyn. Boy did Nike hook us up. On Tuesday night, my friends Ilse, Christina, Kelly, and I arrived at the Nike Flatiron running store to pick up our gear. It included: a sweet bag, some sports bras (one is orange polka dot. They get me.), 2 awesome tops, a great pair of shorts, the Nike Free Bionic shoe.

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Thanks for the free juice!

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The mannequins were modeled after us.

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How could we not smile with all that awesome Nike gear??

But the cherry on top: a fuel band!!!

I’m obsessed with this thing. It’s an amazing tool that syncs up with your Nike+ account and tracks your steps taken, calories burnt, and the fuel points you gain throughout your day. Plus it’s a sweet watch. There’s so many amazing things you can do with this thing too like setting daily goals, killer Nike+ missions, or if you’re like my friends and me, get way too competitive about who gets the most fuel points each day.

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Day 73: The event started at 7 pm, so my day was spent being a tourist, finally checking out the skyline (not before getting a peanut butter donut from Dunwell Donuts, of course)(hey, I’m carbo loading for the race! It’s all a sacrifice, I swear.), doing lots of reading in the sun, suffering from a sunburn because of it, and just touring the city I call home.

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My donut that kicked off my pre-race carbo load, but meant oh so much more.

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We were told to meet at the East River, rocking our new Nike swag and ready for the night of our lives. Upon arriving with my friend Kelly, hoping we would know where everyone was meeting, we were greeted by this:

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WE WERE LITERALLY *ON A BOAT* At that moment, all I could think was:

what is my life.

We boarded the boat and were immediately out on the deck doing a dynamic warm up to awesome pump up music (Iconopop? I’ll do some butt kicks to that!) and were on our way over to the BK. After multiple dance parties and checking our bags, we were back on the boat, headed to our HIT workout with our respective teams. My team ended up right by the Brooklyn Bridge, on a boardwalk swimming with people. We were essentially a fitness flashmob. And let me tell you, those were 30 minutes of some serious HIGH intensity.

It was amazing!! Not only was it a great workout, but I have to say, working out with so many strong and motivating women while people witnessed the fitness was incredibly empowering. Yeah, we’re women– now watch us kick ass!!

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One of the most BA people I know– my friend Christina.

Once we had seriously HIT it a bus took us to our after party, where hair and makeup was done for whomever wanted it, hors d’oeuvres were served to famished ladies, and most importantly: we celebrated our awesomeness! The winners were announced (alas, not my team but we still kicked butt!), trainer to the celebs as well as David Wilson from the Giants made appearances, and with that, our Nike fun came to a close.

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Celebrating our HIT success with some strong and incredible women!– Me, Ilse, Kelly, and Christina.

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A snapchat I sent to the majority of the people I know. I have no regrets.

According to my running plan, Day 73 was meant to be a 3 mile run. I’m okay with my substitution.

Day 74: Today was a rest day! Thankfully, too, because I had a nice 6 hour bus ride back home. En route, though, I got to stop in Cambridge to see my beautiful and perfect friend Allie and FINALLY go to Veggie Galaxy. We’ve been talking about it for months now, and now that I’ve been, I never want to go anywhere else. I got this awesome vegan eggs benedict, and Allie got a vegan omelette. Heaven.

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2 of my favorites: Allie and Breakfast food.

And now I close out Day 74, looking forward to my 2 mile run tomorrow and to 3 days from now when I run a freaking half-marathon.

I’m seriously in need of a good night sleep.

xoxo cat cat kitty cat caitlin

Days 67-72 (the bus blogger)

In an effort to redeem myself for my 3 week absence, here’s a 1 week post!

It’s only FIVE DAYS now until my race, so the past week of runs has been part of the taper– my long run was only 5 miles! All the runs went smoothly and I can hardly remember anything special. The one highlight was on my long run. I decided to just do the .6 mile loop that goes around the park near my house at 9 am. It turns out, that is the designated time for 60+s to walk their adorable puppies; I saw about 50 of them.

Cross training was not so happy this week, simply for the fact that I am an awkward human. I go to Planet Fitness when I’m at home because it’s the cheapest, case closed. However, the majority of people under 25 that I know or have ever known also go to this gym. So, being the awkward human that I am, as soon as I see more than 2 people I know at the gym, I’m suddenly incurably tired. And I leave.

But I did make sure to get in at least 30 minutes each time! Plus, I’ve been forcing myself to do arms at home at least 4 times a week.

My best arm workout this week was on Saturday, at my cousin’s high school graduation party. Not only do I love every opportunity I get to spend time with that part of the family, but I was in love with the volleyball net they set up. I know I’ve mentioned volleyball a handful of times. But the real story is in my blood. Essentially everyone on my dad’s side of the family plays, and we’re all equally competitive. It gets ugly, but it’s always fun… Even when I’m wearing a dress.

So as my post title hints… I’m on a bus! Currently making my way back to NYC for a couple of nights for a very exciting event with Nike. Ill write all about it on Friday so be on your toes.

Then on Saturday, it’s off the Connecticut! My mom and I are staying over night so I can be bright, cheery, and energized for my race!

Holy cannoli, 5 freaking days.

Xoxo Caitlin

Weeks 7 + 8 + 9 (the prodigal blogger/ excuse city… population: me)

Hi friends!

Yeah it’s been 3 weeks since I’ve posted. Fail.

My excuse? I’ll take you on a week-by-week excuse journey.

Week 7: My last week in NYC. Between packing to move out and doing all of my runs in the pouring rain, blogging wasn’t my priority. This week was also the first week I ran into the issue of not being able to do my long run on Saturday. My father picked me up to move me back home– 4 hours of sleep + 7 hours driving did NOT equal a run, even if that was just 4 miles. So I pushed it off until Sunday.

Week 8 excuses: Honestly there aren’t any good ones. I just didn’t blog. But my 10 mile run was TOTALLY AWESOME! I did it in just under 2 hours (about 1:50), averaging a little more than 11 minutes per mile. I finished the whole thing by 8 am! So killer. I also got a new waist pack to carry around my phone and credit card if needed.

Week 9: I was in Disney World. Pretty legit excuse! It was an amazingly fun time (I’ll post some pics below) however.. my running fell off the rails a little bit. I completed all my weekly runs and cross training (thankfully there was a fitness center right in our resort!) but when it came to Friday and my 11 miles, I just couldn’t get out of bed on the lack of sleep and Florida heat. So this week, I just skipped my long run. Could it hurt me in the long run? I don’t know. I guess we’ll find out in 2 weeks.

Now, I’m home, it’s summer, and I just put a loaf of pumpkin seed teff bread in the oven. I ran 4.5 miles this morning and it was quite magical.

Only 11 days until my half marathon!! EeeeeeK!!!

 

Home away from home!

Home away from home!

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My favorite souvenir. Pictured with coffee + Silk french vanilla creamer. Pure magic.

After I rode the tallest water slide in America!

After I rode the tallest water slide in America!

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It’s official… I’m transferring here.

day 8 and exhaustion levels were at an all time high.

day 8 and exhaustion levels were at an all time high.

We couldn't believe this guy *wasn't* Johnny Depp!

We couldn’t believe this guy *wasn’t* Johnny Depp!

At the Hoopdeedoo Revue my mostly veg family opted out of the typical BBQ ribs and fried chicken... so they made us this spread instead!

At the Hoopdeedoo Revue my mostly veg family opted out of the typical BBQ ribs and fried chicken… so they made us this spread instead!

Most of these pictures are stolen from my sister (Thanks Kel LOVE YOU) because I took pictures with a disposable Kodak camera.

But honestly… I want to work at Disney World. It’s *actually* the most magical place on earth! All the staff is literally required to be kind and open and welcoming… are you kidding me? It would be the best job ever. Much of the week, Kelly and I just contemplated the job satisfaction of the staff around the parks–from the popcorn dude to the waitress at the Revolutionary America themed restaurant to the boat driver from our resort to the dude who runs the Hollywood Tower of Terror. Who knows, this could be my new career path.

Well, that’s it for me! See you (I promise!!) in much less time than the last.

hugs and fairy kisses,

caitlin 🙂

Week 6 + Day 43 (it’s the FINALS countdown, bum bum bummmmm)

Whoa, a whole week without a post?

Whooops, my bad.

That’s what happens when you run into finals week. Absolute insanity! 2 exams, 2 final papers, and a final presentation. Now, they’re done! But my week was a busy one. So busy, in fact, that I took Tuesday and Wednesday off my training. Technically Wednesday is rest day optional, so I guess just Tuesday! Here’s a rundown:

Monday (Day 36): 2 miles (or… 3.33). After my end of the year dinner for work, two of my friends and I went for a run. I was feeling kind of sick after dinner, but I decided to push through it… which I’m so glad about! We had some seriously good talk time about body image and health and food addiction, and then before we knew it we’d run 3.3 miles! Not too shabby.

Tuesday: (Day 37) Supposed to be 3.5 miles. Actually no miles. It was many other things though: Punk night at the Met, my first all nighter, my roommate’s last night, my first time going to Bagels on the Square at 3 am, a whole lot of craziness.

Wednesday: (Day 38) Rest/X Training. I literally took the rest route. After an all nighter and finishing my final research paper, I definitely embraced my bed and the concept of napping.

Thursday: (Day 39) 3 miles. I actually decided to make this a 5k and challenge myself to beating 30 minutes. I recently joined http://www.tribesports.com, which is a great community of all kinds of athletes. You can join challenges, “tribes”, which are groups of people commited to whatever its theme is, and encourage each other’s activities. I joined the “Run a 5k in under 30” challenge…. and I completed it! 3.13 miles in 29:19. Not by a landslide, but not too bad either.

Friday (Day 40): Rest! My favorite girl Erin organized a picnic potluck, so a bunch of my friends got together in the park, ate baby bagels and hummus, and wrote haikus (or as we called them #meowkus).

Saturday (Day 41): 8 miles. WHAT! I have the hardest time getting myself out the door for these runs. There’s always an excuse! I’m not rested enough/fueled right/awake enough. Saturday was even worse because it was drizzly and there were no signs of stopping. Eventually I dragged myself out and jumped on the subway up to central park. I’ve been trying to make my long runs more interesting and not listening to my iPod. I figure when I run the half marathon, I won’t be–so I might as well get used to my own thoughts!

It was a wet and chilly run, but I felt amazing! Afterwards, my legs were rubber. And the subway took way longer than expected to get me home, so by that point, I was hungrier and thirstier than I’ve ever been in my life. That smoothie was the best I’ve ever had (cough drake cough).

Sunday (Day 42): Cross Training – after a lovely day with my friends (one of whom I haven’t seen since December!) I went to the gym and….get this…. didn’t hate the elliptical! Ever since I started going to the gym when I was 15, I thought the key to getting through the elliptical workout was watching TV, or a movie, or a tennis game. Turns out, listening to your own thoughts and getting lost inside your mind is a lot more time consuming!

Then I rocked the stair climber for a full 15 minutes and thought I had lost all my body’s liquids via my sweat glands.

Monday (Day 43): 2 miles. I was in an incredibly salty/spicy/foul mood last night, so running my 2 miles with my darling Erin was just the medicine I needed! And then I watched inception. So my day ended on a good note.

Today, I’m waiting for the sun to go down and take some of the heat with it before I run my 3.5.

xoxo gossip caitlin

Days 33 – 35 (5 weeks already?! holy cannoli.)

I cannot believe I’m already 5 weeks into my training! That means next Sunday, I’ll be halfway there. Unreal.

It’s been a wonderful weekend in that I got very little school work done but I’ve had lots of naps and slept in, which let’s just say *never* happens.

This week is going to be a bit of a killer because everything is due/done by Thursday, and let’s just say I’m nowhere near ready. But remember, stress isn’t real! Although it might become real if I don’t remind myself that it’s not summer yet. Things are weird around my apartment, too, because everyone’s getting ready to move out! It’s both an exciting and nostalgic time: exciting because there’s nothing more fun than a late night purging of your room. Seriously, who’s with me? And nostalgic because this year with my roommates has been so amazing, and the three of us likely won’t live together again. *sad face*.

But, my training has been amazing.

Day 33 (Friday): Rest day! It was funny, today one of my friends asked me what I did on Friday, and it actually took me 5 minutes to even remember. That day had basically erased itself from my mind. But I did remember! The roomies and I had end of the year roommate dinner at an ~amazing~ restaurant by Union Square: Peacefood Cafe. 100% vegan, whole food, lots of g-free options. AND I spied Kris Carr at the restaurant, one of my biggest inspirations in food/healthy living/being awesome. Check her out: http://kriscarr.com/

Day 34 (Saturday): Arguably the best workout I’ve had in ever. It was my long run, 7 miles. I was super nervous to say the least. After my 6 mile run turned out to only be 5.5 miles and I was practically dead after, I didn’t know if my body could do 7. That, and at 9 am the forecast was rain. All day. As I ate my oatmeal (obviously), I negotiated with myself: I’ll run the 7 tomorrow morning and cross train today! Maybe I’ll even do it later tonight, when the rain’s gone.

But the fact was that it wasn’t raining yet, it wouldn’t start for another 2 hours, and I had to do it now. So I found a cool site (WalkJogRun) that allows you to map out your course, planned 7 miles along the Hudson, and left with only my apartment keys. No iPod, no music, no mindless distractions. And this quiet, focused run was the best one I’ve ever had. I felt amazing! I went into it with a positive attitude, reminding myself of how proud I was that I was doing this, that I’m a total badass, and that I *could* finish 7 miles. And I did!

The only bad part was that 5 miles in, nature was calling. And as one of my tour guide friends says, when nature calls, you better not put her on hold. So I had to use a port-o-potty that was disgusting but was good in that I wasn’t tempted to rest long.

I finished in somewhere around an hour and fifteen minutes (I wasn’t keeping track of time exactly, and still had to get home after the 7 miles) and wasn’t even tired. Sure my legs felt like (vegan) jello and I was actually sweatier than a farmer on a hot day (wow that was a random analogy).

But I felt like a million bucks, and I have never been so proud of myself.

Day 35 (Today!): Cross training day! I had brunch with my “micromicrocommunity”, then tennis with my boyz. Tennis was kind of terrible, though, since the wind was Wizard of Oz level, and we were all pretty pooped. Later, I ended up at the gym to hang out with my bestie Mr. Elliptical, but I have to say it was pleasant because I went to the gym with the TVs on the machines, and the new episode of REVENGE WAS ON! Arguably the best show on tv now and ever.

And now it’s 1:15 am on Monday, I have a presentation to give in 8 hours, and I’m more awake than I’ve been all day.

Funny how life happens,

❤ cait