Adventures in Raleigh

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Goodbye, beach.


Hello, Raleigh!


Last week, our adventures took us from the Outer Banks (we stayed in Avon, for those who asked) to Raleigh, North Carolina for the second event in the 2013 Ramblin’ Rose event series.  Ramblin’ Rose is an introductory, all-women’s triathlon series that mostly takes place in North Carolina (we have events coming up in Chapel Hill, Winston Salem, Charlotte, and Rock Hill).  I do most of their social media per my new job.


The night before the race, we checked into a hotel.  We promptly played Five Little Monkeys, Jumping On The Bed…  No one jumped off and bumped their head, though.


We took a dip in the hotel pool, showered, and got dressed for a semi-fancy dinner out.  We headed to Fiction Kitchen, a vegetarian restaurant in downtown Raleigh with loads of vegan and gluten-free options.



Their menu is TO DIE FOR.


We started off with the Wintery Spring Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce.


Mushrooms, carrots, greens marinated and wrapped in rice paper.


We shared two entrees – The Curry Bowl (house-made curry, coconut milk, seasonal vegetables, and rice blend)….


And the Braised Tempeh with Pesto Grits (balsamic and tamari braised tempeh with seasonal vegetables, served on top of pesto grits).


That picture truly doesn’t do the Pesto Grits justice because it was one of the BEST things that I have ever tasted… ever.  Truly – so good. 


Henry had the smashed potato.




Which he gave two big baby thumbs up.  He loved it SO much that I got a second potato pancake to go so he could have it for breakfast the next day.  It’s fun that he can eat things off menus now – makes dining out so much easier!


Henry was reaching his bedtime, so we got dessert to go – two vegan and GF chocolate cakes that came with a side of salted caramel dipping sauce.  As delicious as you think!


All in all – the next time I am in Raleigh, I WILL be back to Fiction Kitchen. Truly great and creative food, reasonable prices, and a really cool retro vibe. 


The next morning, it was time to Ramblin!


It was fun that the Hus and Henry could come with me because they probably won’t go to any of the other events.  Logistics with Henry can be hard for morning events because of nap time (Hi, I’m a parent and my kid’s sleep schedule clearly rules my entire existence!).  But he held tough for the event!   I think he just really likes triathlons. Smile


Like all Ramblin’ Rose events, Sunday’s sprint triathlon featured a short indoor pool swim (250 yards), a fast bike (9 miles), and a 2 mile run.  I wish I could take all of you to a Ramblin’ Rose event so you could see how exciting and supportive it is!  There are women of every age (from 10 years old to 72 years old!), shapes and sizes, and athletic ability.  I love that there are so many moms and daughters participating, and it’s cool to see so many husbands, grandparents, friends, etc. supporting the triathletes.  Triathlons can get pretty serious – it’s nice to see how Ramblin’ Rose adds a really personal touch to the event.






Lauren from Real Mom on the Run (one of our blog ambassadors – a momma to four teenagers who transformed her life through healthy living {and lost 60+ pounds to boot}) and me at the finish line.



Winners of the 65 – 69 age group.  Epic.


I always do a special Facebook post about our first finisher and our final finisher because I truly believe that EVERYONE should be celebrated as they cross the finish line.  I’ve been at the front of the pack and the back, and honestly – I was so thrilled with myself both times that I didn’t care what my ranking was (I need to remember those moments when I start getting antsy about my comparative performance this season!).  As the crowd waited for our final finisher, another spectator told me that Karen was determined to finish the event, despite getting over a pretty serious cold.  In fact, Karen’s husband was so nervous/excited for her that he volunteered to provide support on the bike leg so he wasn’t just anxiously milling around the entire time! 


Karen completed the 2 miles with a group of supporters who cheered her on every step of the way… until the finish line, of course, when they let her cross solo (with flowers in her arms!).  I watched as dozens upon dozens of spectators burst into tears when our final finisher Karen crossed the finish line. 


I guess other people were inspired, too, because it was our most-shared pictures of the season by miles.  Go Karen!


If you’re in the area….


Rock Hill – July 14, 2013

Winston-Salem – August 18, 2013

Charlotte – September 22, 2013

Chapel Hill – October 6, 2013


For more info, check out the website.


How was your weekend?  Do anything exciting?  New restaurants?  Awesome races?



  • Lauren @ Breathe & Nourish May 20, 2013, 12:32 pm

    Oh my goodness, Henry just keeps getting cuter and cuter when I didn’t think that it was possible! I love the first photo of him on the beach! 🙂

  • DadHTP May 20, 2013, 2:06 pm

    I am not prejudiced, but Henry IS the world’s cutest boy baby, following after his mother who was the worlds cutest girl baby. It’s not bragging if it’s the truth.

    I’m sure Kristien was second in the boy category – wasn’t there, but wouldn’t be surprised.

  • Amanda K. May 20, 2013, 2:53 pm

    did you dye your hair?! it looks lighter in some of the photos!

    • Caitlin May 20, 2013, 3:30 pm

      Yes 🙂

  • Jane @ Not Plain So Jane May 20, 2013, 3:42 pm

    I love that you honor the first & last! I also seriously hope I am as active as those 60-69 year olds. Pesto grits! I want to try to recreate those, I love grits!

  • Hope May 20, 2013, 4:39 pm

    Incredible! Watching my husband finish a marathon was so emotional. I love that she had such a fantastic community behind her to the end!

  • Stacey May 20, 2013, 5:25 pm

    I LOVE THIS! My heart aches with happiness for her!

  • Shel@PeachyPalate May 20, 2013, 5:46 pm

    Sounds like an amazing event! We literally have no restaurants/coffee shops that provide vegan options and you’ve only ever got a couple of things to choose from! That place sounds amazing!!! I need to go back to the US just to eat amazing food!

  • Sara@RunningInPinkProject May 20, 2013, 5:51 pm

    I am so excited for my July event! I cant get enough of these Ramblin Rose posts! 🙂

  • Jelena@FabLifePhD May 20, 2013, 5:51 pm

    I really like your idea about featuring the last ariving pariticpant. My runs are competitions with myself, and not with the other people. This year I challenged myself to do 10K in 1 hour (last year it was to finish 10K). For some people it is nothing, but for me it felt like a victory! And I don’t care what place it may bring me at the race

    • Caitlin May 20, 2013, 8:54 pm

      That is super awesome 🙂 congrats!!!

  • Amber K May 20, 2013, 8:31 pm

    I love that everyone who finishes is celebrated. Yay for everyone!

  • Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed May 21, 2013, 7:40 am

    Looks like an awesome weekend! That is so awesome that you feature the last finisher 😀 I was supposed to go skydiving this weekend, but mother nature had other plans 🙁

  • Whitney @ Whit Likes Fit May 21, 2013, 11:30 am

    So we head to NC next week. We’re doing a little road trip which includes the outerbanks. We’re staying in Nags Head but would love any suggestions for must eat/see spots in that area.

  • Tammy Root May 21, 2013, 12:10 pm

    YAY Karen!!!! Such an inspiration!

  • Reenie May 21, 2013, 3:28 pm

    Way to go Karen!!!

    Love the pic of Henry and the Hus… both have their mouths open. HA!! And you look beautiful. 🙂

  • Liz May 21, 2013, 3:38 pm

    Oh My! You have me crying at my desk. I am a huge believer in not judging anyone that’s trying. That woman is truly beautiful!! I was born and raised in Thomasville, NC (20 minutes from Winston Salem) so you are really making me miss home! Iowa doesn’t compare…and we have NO vegan options here!! I love this post…very inspiring!

  • Samantha May 21, 2013, 3:50 pm

    Just seeing the first picture of the spring rolls makes me so hungry for some!

  • Hayley @ Running on Pumpkin May 21, 2013, 8:19 pm

    Fiction Kitchen looks amazing! As does the Ramblin Rose event! Happy you are loving your new job 🙂

  • Karen @ Runner Girl Eats May 22, 2013, 8:21 am

    I think its great that you honor the first and last. Before I got involved in the running/fitness community I thought it was very judgemental but now I see that was all in my head. Everyone is racing there own race and events like this really seem to get that message out.

  • kirin May 22, 2013, 1:40 pm

    My mom (who lives in Charlotte) and I are going to do the RR Charlotte triathlon in September! I proposed the idea to her over the weekend and she just called to tell me that she’s in. I am super excited to do this with her. I have been training for my first sprint tri (which will be at the end of June) and have been really enjoying learning how to swim properly and mixing up my workouts, so I’m looking forward to sharing the experience with my mom.

  • RunEatRepeat May 22, 2013, 6:33 pm

    Love this!

  • BroccoliHut May 22, 2013, 7:40 pm

    I lived in Raleigh for two years and never got a chance to try out Fiction Kitchen. Guess I’ll have to make a trip there before I leave North Carolina for good!

  • Jessica May 23, 2013, 9:46 am

    Hey Caitlin! It was so nice meeting you at Ramblin’ Rose (I basically pounced on you when we were all lined up in the gym waiting for the swim!). Thanks so much for your words of encouragement and for introducing me to Ramblin’ Rose! I had a blast. Loved all the photos on the Facebook page, too!

  • eliz@ourcrazysweetlife May 23, 2013, 4:55 pm

    Precious, precious beach photos! We just returned from our first trip to the beach with our 8m old daughter and it was a fun adventure to share.

  • Brynne May 23, 2013, 5:21 pm

    Would love to have one of these events in Jacksonville, FL!!

  • Melissa May 24, 2013, 11:16 pm

    I should have guessed you’d be in Raleigh. You are my favorite blogger and I would have loved to meet you. I live near Raleigh and Fiction Kitchen is the bomb! If you come this way again, try The Remedy Diner downtown. I think you’d like it too.

    • Caitlin May 25, 2013, 9:46 am

      Aw thanks Melissa!

  • Jill May 25, 2013, 7:37 pm

    Congrats on Ramblin’ Rose—sounds like a great fit for you. I’ve been reading your triathlon posts lately. I just signed up for my first sprint tri and bought a 2nd hand road bike yesterday! I”m really excited. I love all your tri posts–great info in them. Of course, it’s the transitions that I’m curious about…and a bit nervous about (and the clothing aspect). You said in one of your posts that you also learned a lot from youtube videos and other blogs. What tri blogs would you recommend?

  • kayleigh June 7, 2013, 4:04 pm

    Woah, just had an inception moment. I live in Raleigh and actually know one of Lauren’s daughters. Wayyy to full circle. But that looks like a seriously awesome event!

  • Kristen June 26, 2013, 11:38 am

    I live in Raleigh and I LOVE Fiction Kitchen. I’ve recently adopted a vegetarian diet and sometimes I run out of steam when attempting to create new menu items at home. This place is amazing and a great switch up when going out to dinner!

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