10/20/16: Thankful Thursday

It seems rather appropriate this week that I choose three things I’m thankful for each week. Because…as of this week, I have a three-year-old. My darling daughter turned three, and I am caught between wishing time would slow down and wondering how there was ever a time she wasn’t by my side.

So I guess I’m gonna harp on this, and I’m going to list three things related to Dino-Toddler that make me deeply gracious for her coming into my life.

  1. She made me stronger.

    I’ve struggled with my mental health for a long time. However, after DT was born, it was like my brain and heart exploded and melted. I barely crawled through some of the darkest days I’ve ever experienced.
    I lost some of the joy that I felt I should have experienced. I was an incredibly sad human, and I’d cry whenever hubby left to go to work. I couldn’t imagine spending another 8+ hours alone with this small creature who cried and cried while I cried and cried.
    Although I wish I could have that time back, I know I am stronger because of it. I got the help I so desperately needed, and I learned how to take care of myself and my brain so much better.
    I am stronger because of her. I am stronger, because I want her to see what strength looks like. It doesn’t mean every day is great. It means you keep going and you take care of yourself so you can be there to take care of others.

  2. She is a bright ball of fiery sunshine.

    This girl makes me laugh every day. And she makes me want to scream every day. That’s part of her job being a toddler…err…preschooler now. She is so very bright and caring and strong-willed. She never stops talking and observing. The wheels of her brain are constantly in motion, and she astounds me with the things she says. She remembers events from a year ago, and she can vividly tell stories about them. She can hear a song just a few times and memorize many of the words and tunes. All of this can be overwhelming for her, and it can make her emotional. I can’t imagine having that much of a fire in my mind and heart all the time. She feels things so very deeply, and she knows what she wants.
    She is so different from me, and that is beautiful.

  3. She makes me want to be a better person.
    Even though I was at the beginning achy, stuffy stages of a head cold on her birthday morning, I ran three miles. I did it because I want to be a better person for her. I run for many reasons, but one of the top reasons is her. I want to keep up with her as she grows, and I want her to see what healthy looks like.

There are a million reasons I’m thankful for her and I know others are, too. She inspires this journey often, and that’s why I talk about her so darn much here. I just hope I can provide some inspiration to her, too.

Read on. Run on.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

10/17/16: Manic Monday

Hey, look! I’m actually updating my blog within a day of running a race! Can you believe it?

So Mankato, like the TC 10-mile, was fabulous. It was fabulous in a way entirely its own, though. To me, there’s something so charming about Mankato. Maybe it’s because I went to school there. Maybe it’s because it’s where I developed my relationship with my hubby or where we got engaged or where we lived when we got married. Maybe it’s because I made friends there and worked jobs I loved there and made so many memories. And maybe it’s just because it’s such a good mix of small-town with larger city amenities.

Expo was fun! Obviously it wasn’t as big as TC, but it still had many neat booths. And I wanted all the things. I was thrilled to talk to Alisha Perkins for a bit and hear her speak. I love how amazing and real she is, and she speaks with such raw honesty. She is so sweet, and I just admire what she does for the running community and Minnesota!

Thanks to my parents, we were able to go as a duo rather than trying to coordinate having Dino-Toddler with us. We were both running, so she wouldn’t have had a lot of fun waiting. I ran the 10K, and hubby ran the half-marathon. It was his first half (!!!), so we wanted to get there and settled on time.

IT WAS COLD when we arrived at the event. We both immediately regretted not having more layers as we tried to warm up next to the starting line.

It quickly got brighter out, and obviously we both warmed up after we crossed our respective start lines.

All I can say is…A+. Beautiful course. Great volunteers and support. I had a blast on this run. I felt SO good the whole time, and I maintained a 13:09/mile pace. If you have seen any of my previous paces, you’ll know this is tops for me. I felt strong, and I finished strong! And I had fun along the way. There was a pretty superb downhill stretch that just felt like a bonus.

The colors. The weather. Everything was just gorgeous. I got to the finish, changed in the car (free parking in a parking ramp, yo!), and meandered a bit before settling in at the finish line to wait for the husband.


Dino-Toddler may have been at home, but she was cheering us on in spirit. Got this text from my dad and step-mom mid-race, and it brightened my heart. Sent it onto husband who received it at about mile 6.

I was so excited to see him coming down the finisher’s chute! I am so damn proud of this guy. Mostly because he didn’t train a lot for this round, but he still made it. He said miles 10-13.1 were the hardest thing he has ever done. He earned that medal and the beers and snacks that came afterward.

I think this is our last big race until MY half in January. Eeek. Hopefully I’ll add a few fun 5Ks in there, but we’re on the downhill stretch now for training. Time to re-group, buckle down, and get to business. This sport is so hard for me, but that is also what makes it incredibly rewarding.


Read on. Run on.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

10/15/16: Sorta Not-Silent Saturday

Whew. Every time I say, I’m not going to take any more breaks from blogging, then I take a big break. I don’t know what it is. I apparently am very rebellious against my own good intentions.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking this week since my 10-miler. I’m caught between being proud of what I accomplished and wishing I had done so much better. Hoping I can do better. Making plans to do better.

That, and Dino-Toddler got a cold. And there has been some chaos at the library. (More chaos than the usual chaos.) And I’ve felt a cold coming on the last few days.

Excuses aside, I promised a recap of the TC 10-Mile. I can honestly say it was a fabulous experience, beginning to end. I already wrote a bit about the expo, and packet pick-up at the expo was a dream. Very smooth process. Very short lines. In, out, done. I had so much fun looking at all the booths and yearning for ALL THE THINGS. I bought more than I should have, but there were so many neat things to be excited about if you’re into running stuff.


Sunday morning, we took off from home bright and early. (5:15 AM? I think? I don’t know, I didn’t have my eyes open.) Smooth ride up, and we parked at Ramp B at Target Field. It was chilly, so I felt pretty guilty dragging my husband, mother-in-law, and almost-3-year-old outside so early in the morning. We walked to the light rail and rode the train to Government Plaza.


We danced around for a few minutes trying to stay warm, but it was a well-organized crowd, and there were plenty of open porta-potties when we got there. Perfect.

Then, I  said my goodbyes, tried to focus on not throwing up, got in my corral (the last of all corrals, because I’m a turtle), and enjoyed the beginnings of the sunrise. It did take awhile to get to the start line, because there were a few waves of runners before me. But when I got going, I was immediately greeted by a gorgeous sunrise and lovely views. I felt so motivated, and I accidentally ran a 12:30 mile. That is way too fast for me, but I had so much adrenaline. Rookie mistake. Luckily, I don’t think it cost me too much later.

I cannot say enough about the on-course support for this run. The volunteers were amazing and motivating and ready with so many kind words. The traffic control and police were cheering us on, and many of them had high-fives waiting for us. The spectators had funny signs that made me smile when I needed it and so many encouraging words. I teared up several times, because I seemed to come across motivation at the exact times I needed it most. People are beautiful, and this sport proves that all the time.

When I got to the finish line, it was lined with so many people. I’m sure they were waiting there for the first marathon finishers (because I’m fairly far back in the pack, the first marathon finishers weren’t too far behind me), but they cheered for me and for other 10-milers coming in just the same. The medal is epic. My arms were filled with snacks and treats as I left the line. I met up with my supportive and amazing family soon after, and I celebrated/moved through the rest of the day in a bit of a haze.

If anyone is considering a 10-mile race, I would most certainly recommend this one. Phenomenal organization, views, and support. You won’t regret it.

And now, I go to bed so I can get some rest for the Mankato 10K tomorrow morning. My hubby is running his first half-marathon, and I’m excited to cheer for him as he crosses the finish line! I guess my next post will probably be a recap from this weekend, and I’m hoping it comes a little sooner than this one did.

I’ll be spending some time reflecting this next week on my goals, where I want to go, and how I will get there. It’s time to buckle down, and I want to be the best possible me I can.

Read on. Run on.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

10/9/16: Say it LOUD Sunday!

I started.


I finished.


I celebrated. (DT slept.)


Full recap tomorrow.

Read on. Run on.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

10/7/16: Friday So-Many-Favorites

GAH. I’ve had a big day when it comes to the running portion of my life. Today was the Twin Cities in Motion Health & Fitness Expo.


SOOOOOO many things to do/see/buy. I told my bank account it would hurt, but I don’t think it could have imagined the pain I’d inflict on it.

Okay, it wasn’t that bad. But still a little painful.

Most importantly, I was able to see Dimity and Sarah from Another Mother Runner speak. And they uplifted my spirit so very much in a time when I really need it. They topic was “Enjoy and Excel: How to Race Like a Mother.” They had so many good suggestions and tips I hadn’t really thought of.


Two really amazing people. I owe so much to them, and I wish I knew how to thank them. I think they’ve changed a lot of lives.

I have a lot of doubts about myself and my abilities. I spend a lot of time telling myself, “You suck. You can’t run. You should quit.” And Dimity reminded me of something. You should never say things to yourself that you wouldn’t say to your friends. I would NEVER tell my friends they suck or they can’t run or they should quit. I would tell them, “Keep going! You got this! You are only racing against yourself. You are amazing!”

So why don’t I tell myself these things? Mentally, I think I need to work harder at making positive statements toward myself during my long runs in particular. I’ll be starting that ASAP (on Sunday, of course).

Obviously, I had to get some swag, and I’m super in love with it. The sweatshirt is so soft and I’m already wearing it and I may never take it off. And what’s better than a #BAMNR shirt?

So now…I prepare. I plan on getting some good rest tomorrow, laying out my “Flat Cassie,” (see: “Laying out your Clothes“), and maybe fitting in an easy yoga/meditation sesh.

I’m going to run Sunday in a beautiful race. I’m going to do it for me and my daughter and my husband and my health and my future. I’m going to be okay.


Read on. Run on.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

10/6/16: Thankful Thursday

Today is a day that makes me think I have finally crossed the bridge from “I am losing it” to “I have lost it.” My mind is so consumed with the 10-miler this weekend and a million other things I have to get done, and it is no longer just an internal battle between the voices in my head.

First, I received an email from the organizers of the Mankato Marathon weekend with information for participants and spectators. I was confused, because why would I receive this? My husband is running the half-marathon, but how did they know I’d be spectating?

Oh, turns out I’m actually a participant. I have no recollection of this, but I apparently registered for the 10k that Sunday. So I guess I’ll be going for a trifecta: a 10k last weekend, a 10-miler this weekend, and a 10k next weekend.

After that revelation, I made myself some lunch before work (I have the late shift today). Leftover chili and a spinach salad. Only when I started adding the dressing to my salad, I realized it wasn’t my salad. I was in the process of adding creamy poppyseed dressing to my chili. I screamed, “What the truck are you doing?!” at myself, except truck may not have been the word I used, but you weren’t there so you don’t know. And then I scooped out what I could and ate it anyway. Maybe I need to start hitting it a little harder in the “mindfulness” practice.


It’s really hard to take a picture of yourself doing bridges on the wall. And it probably defeats the purpose.

Because of this, I’m going to keep my thankfuls short and sweet.

  1. YOU, you magnificent sparkly humans: I’m thankful for all the new likes on my FB page and new blog followers! And of course for the followers who have been here for a while. You all are amazing, and I’d make you some super yummy donuts if I knew how to make donuts and ship them cost-effectively. They’d have heart-shaped sprinkles on them and everything. Unless you don’t like sprinkles. I dig a good glaze, too.
  2. Toddler art: Okay, two-year-olds aren’t master artists or painters. I get that. But I think each parent melts a little when their kiddo brings home a scribbly picture or finger painting they’re really damn proud of. It’s just another thing that reminds me of how much she is growing.
  3. ChocolateI don’t think this even needs a description.

All right, off I go! Tomorrow is packet pick-up, and I’m hoping to have some good pictures/reports of my adventures at the Health & Fitness Expo. Dino-toddler will be accompanying me. I’m charging the iPad and packing her brand new Elsa headphones as we speak.

Read on. Run on.

P.S. My new Momentum Jewelry arrived yesterday! Super fast shipping. I LURVE it. And I want more. They’re running a #spreadtheSPARK promo this month. Check it out.


And a cameo from my RoadID.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

10/5/16: Whatever Wednesday

With the changing seasons (YES I KNOW I KEEP BRINGING THIS UP!), is anyone else getting excited for holiday themed races? If you’re a Minnesotan, maybe you’ll enjoy this post from Minneapolis Running on holiday themed races in the area. Is anyone planning on attending one of these or any others in the next few months? Let me know! I’m getting my race calendar going and would love to meet up with some folks.


Not sure who made this (found it on a random forum), but I give credit to them and want to be their friend.

I am super nervous today…and yesterday and the day before, and I will be tomorrow and the rest of the week, too. The TC 10-Mile is coming up in 4 days. That’s four days. F-O-U-R. When I started running, I was fairly nervous for 5Ks. Now, those don’t seem like such a big deal. But now that I’ve been increasing my mileage for training and races, the nerves have been firing back up again. And this will be the longest race I’ve ever run, not to mention only the second time I’ve ever run 10 miles. The first time didn’t go great, and now my tummy is sloshy with lots of butterflies doing backflips when I think of the obstacles ahead this Sunday.

Luckily, I have a lot of reading material with helpful suggestions and reminders that I should just enjoy myself.

  • Minneapolis Running has tips for boosting your TC Marathon weekend experience.
  • I am SO excited Dimity and SBS from Another Mother Runner will be at the expo and presenting! Can’t wait to get my hands on that merch. I apologize to my bank account in advance. This weekend is gonna hurt.
  • I’m not part of Moms on the Run, but I sure wish I were. Maybe a franchise will make its way here eventually. Still, I receive their updates, and lots of MOTR are getting ready for the weekend. More helpful hints here.

If you need me, I’ll be perusing my participant guide, highlighting the spectator guide for the hubby and Dino-Toddler, and popping Tums.

Read on. Run on.

P.S. If you’re looking for something not-really-running-related, I actually liked the simple advice from the NYT on how to be mindful with Facebook. I think many people could use this reminder from time to time, including me!

Tagged , , , , , , ,

10/4/16: Toddler Tuesday

It has been a few weeks since I did a Toddler Tuesday feature, but that doesn’t mean Dino-Toddler’s life hasn’t been hopping. We’re in the midst of potty training, and she’s really starting to get the hang of it. I don’t think I’ve changed more than one dirty/wet diaper in the past 48 hours. This kinda rocks and also kinda feels really sad at the same time. All you parents of age 2-3+ kiddos are picking up what I’m putting down, right?

We’re certainly staying busy around here, and I often feel like I am lacking in “me time” where I do activities that I enjoy. Don’t get me wrong. Playing with the Fisher Price dollhouse and Daniel Tiger figurines for a few hours after work/daycare is great. I love that she wants me to play with her All.The.Time. But I also need to have my own way to unwind at the end of the day. And playing Cookie Cats, although entertaining for me, is not something I want DT to watch me do for hours on end. If I don’t want her to be glued to her future phone/tablet/whatever-the-hell-device-kids-will-have-in-10-years, I need to practice what I preach now.

I’ve been practicing more yoga lately, and I’m really enjoying my first month’s subscription to YogaGlo. To my delight, I’m finding DT also enjoys doing her own version of yoga.

I stumbled across this book at the library and checked it out to see what DT would think. She was quite receptive to it and immediately wanted to try out the moves. She has always been a bundle of energy, and I think channeling that energy into positive, healthy activities like dance and yoga could be really good for her.

Tonight I decided to sneak in a quick Core Yoga for Runners class on the Roku (there are so many good classes targeted toward runners!) while hubby gave DT a bath. Well, they finished sooner than I expected. Instead of letting her become a disruption to my practice, though, I asked her to join. She jumped right in.


Trying to Downward Dog with a Downward Puppy

Luckily, she joined me toward the end. Corpse pose is kinda fun with a giggly toddler on your belly.


She totally rolled off and face-planted, like, 2 seconds after this.

I hope I can cultivate her interest even more. I’d like us to share some hobbies as she gets older, because I know eventually I won’t be her ideal playmate. There’ll be times when she wants to shut me out or is embarrassed by me (actually, that’s probably already happening) or is so mad at me because I won’t buy her the latest whatever-the-hell-device-kids-will-have-in-10-years. And I hope by sharing interests like yoga or books, we can always remember how much we enjoy being together.



Read on. Run on.


Tagged , , , , , , , ,

10/3/16: Manic Monday, the Chocolate Edition

Wait, it’s October? When the hell did that happen?

Seriously, though. I was just maybe kind of adjusting to the fact that it was September. And here comes October shooting in all HEY, THE PARTY IS HERE.

With the end of September came the MLA conference. I love being a librarian, and I learned even more about librarianing. Sometimes, it’s good to take a step back and remember why I chose to be a part of this career. I have so many ideas of things I’d love to do, if I can just embrace the passion and move forward. It was also in Duluth, my favorite city in the history of forever. I didn’t get to embrace the Duluth life as much as I would have liked. (C’mon, I had to wake up at 3:00 AM on Thursday morning to get to the conference in time!) But it inspired me in many ways while I was there. Hoping we can plan a mini-vacay there in the next few months.

With the beginning of October came the Chocoholic Frolic 10(-ish) k run. Although I thoroughly enjoy any run that has chocolate as the main perk, there were a few things I hope they can work to improve in the future.

  1. DISTANCE: Most importantly, I finished and noticed my GPS only recorded 5.5 miles. This was billed as a 10k, which is supposed to be 6.2. May seem like a petty thing to some, but this served as a training/taper session for me, and I count on those miles. Hopefully next year, they can offer this again but be a little more careful with measuring their distance. I know I am not the only one who had an issue with this.
  2. Time: So not only did the 10k start after the 5k (I like it when the longer distance goes first, because it takes…y’know, longer.), the 10k didn’t even start until 10:00. By this point, the sun was up and blaring. I ended up feeling slow and trudging along (even more so than usual), and I was a sweaty, stinky mess by the end. I know this is more of a fun run, but even just switching the times for the 10k and 5k would have helped. Maybe there were some course considerations regarding this, but it makes me feel very divided on signing up for this again.
  3. Where am I going?!: I’m not talking about the course here. In fact, the course guides and police officers were helpful, encouraging, and just generally awesome. I’m talking about actually getting to the start line. Despite the fact that we paid $10 to park in one of the recommended event day parking lots, there was no signage indicating where we should actually go. We had to follow a few people who looked like they knew where they were going, and we also listened for the music. When we actually arrived at the course, I couldn’t tell if the inflatable arches I was looking at were the start or the finish. I had to walk around for a while to find another set of arches labeled “FINISH” and then figure out where the start line was by process of elimination.

Despite all of this, the day was gorgeous. The views were beautiful. The hills were terrible, but maybe that’s preparing me for next week’s 10-miler? I don’t know. At the very least, I had the sound of my biggest little fan in my head. As I left her and the hubby to line up, I could hear her repeating, “GO, MAMA, GO!” over and over again. I’d be lying if I said that didn’t add some extra pep to my step.


So now I’m just sitting here…uber nervous for Sunday. I am hoping that the conditions in and of themselves lead to a better run/finish. I have so many things on my mind lately, and nighttime isn’t even a respite. I get little rest with the vivid dreams and nightmares, and I wake up feeling drained and wondering whether a IV of caffeine might be worth it.

I guess I’ll be back tomorrow, hopefully on a bit more positive of a note. Step-by-step and day-by-day.

Read on. Run on.

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

9/25/16: Sorta Silent Saturday – Sunday Runday Edition

I ran 10 miles. Well, I slogged through 10 miles, partially during a downpour, and the rest of time completely soaked. Shoes and all.


It was ugly. I’m hurting a little tonight. But it was done. And now I hope it goes much better in a couple of weeks.

Read on. Run on.

Tagged , , , , , , ,